Introduction: Using the DRO on the Vertical Mill to Drill a Perfect Circular Pattern

Using the DRO (digital read out) on the mills can seem complicated but they are pretty step-by-step and are a very useful tool for quick patterns along with other features.

The feature I will be talking about is the circular pattern.  This is great if you need to create a circular pattern around a center zero.  First get your material all set up and find your center using a co-axial indicator (see my other instructables).  You will want to select zero from the set/zero function on the DRO and then press the x and y zero buttons on the right side of the display.  

Step 1: Creating Your Pattern

On the screen there is a button with a circle with black dots on it.  Press it and it will bring up the first of 3 screens for setting up your pattern.  

Screen 1
First you will choose if you want a full or segmented pattern (part of a circle).  For this example I will be doing a full pattern.  Next choose how many holes you want and then enter the x/y zero positions (0,0 in this case).  Once you have entered all of this press the down button.  Screen 2 will pop up.

Screen 2
Enter the radius of the circle or partial circle that you want.  Then enter the start angle.  This is key if you have a offset hole pattern.  The end angle won't be changed and is based off of your start angle and how many holes you have.  Once you have entered all the info again push the down button and screen 3 will pop up.

Screen 3
This screen is for Z depth purposes.  On the manual mills you will be setting up your own Z stops so disregard this screen and push down again.  You will see the screen 1 show back up and then you can press enter to start the program.

Step 2: Drilling Your Pattern

Once the program has started it will start off in view one.  View one shows x/y coordinates and you move the table until both read zero.  There is also a slide indicator to show you your progress.  If you like this screen, great, work with it.  You can also try the other view by pressing the view button.  View 2 has a layout diagram with x/y coordinates in the upper right.  Again you move these to zero.  In both view once the first hole has been drilled press next hole and continue on with the process until all your holes have been completed.  Once you are done press "end" to finish the program.