Picture of How to Use the DRO (Digital Read-Out)
I made a glow engine crank case using the mill.  I made it at TechShop (  The DRO (Digital Read-Out) device played a significant role in insuring that the dimensions were correct and matched my schematic.  I decided to write up an Instructable that talks about the DRO.   It seems the time I spent understanding the functionality was well spent and it helped me accurately build the part.  After I was done, I was surprised to see how much functionality was available.  This Instructable discusses some of the more interesting functions of the DRO that I employed while building this part.   Note: this Instructable is not meant to be an exhaustive list, it simply details  some of the more useful functions that I've found thus far on the DRO Model W411 Readout.  If you don't have the same model, the functions and keys will probably be a little different but some of the concepts may nevertheless be useful despite having a different model.  You'll have to check your specific model for applicability.

Step 1: Calculator

Picture of Calculator
Did you know there is a calculator on the system.  I DIDN'T.  I kept running back to the desk and doing some quick calculations on paper or the calculator on a computer until I found this handy little function.

The calculator can be accessed pressing CALC on the keyboard.  AFTER hitting CALC select the softkey STANDARD/TRIG.  Then use the keyboard to input numbers and operators (e.g. addition, subtraction, etc.) like a normal calculator. 

On this model, the trick is to remember to hit the "STANDARD/TRIG" button to access the calculator.  It is a time saver.

Step 2: Cutting Speed

Picture of Cutting Speed
The DRO can also calculate the correct RPM speeds.  This can also be accomplished using the calculator button.  Select CALC button and then select the softkey RPM.  
1) Enter the diameter of the mill your using.
2)  Enter the surface speed.  (If it is not known, select the help screen, and a list of common materials with the appropriate surface speeds are given).  
3)  Press enter and the calculator will determine the appropriate RPM setting.

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bgerens1 year ago
Thanks for sharing. This gives me incentive to actually learn how to use the DRO's numerous functions.
Thanks for sharing this - I am about to embark on using these kinds of tooling systems, and appreciate this resource.