Native American Technologies
Weld Measuring Software
Native American Technologies
1317 Washington Ave. Suite 1
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 279-7942
Fax: (303) 279-5286
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION *
1.2 WHAT IS NAMeS *
1.3 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS *
2.2 HOW NAMeS USES IMAGES AND DATA *
2.3 CREATING A PROJECT *
2.3.1 The Graphics Files Tab *
220.127.116.11 Choosing and Selecting Files *
18.104.22.168 Video Capture Options *
22.214.171.124 Using the Short Cut Buttons *
2.3.4 The Weld Settings Tab *
2.3.5 Changing Directories *
2.4 Using Video Capture in NAMeS *
2.5 USING EXISTING IMAGES AND DATA *
2.5.1 Organizing Data *
2.5.2 Starting with Existing Data *
2.5.3 Starting with Existing Weld Images *
3.1.1 Saving a Project *
3.1.2 Restoring a Project *
3.1.3 Recovering from Changed Directory Names *
3.1.4 Editing a Project *
3.2 ENTERING WELD DIMENSIONS *
3.3 REVERSING, FLIPPING, AND ROTATING THE WELD IMAGE *
3.4 MEASURING A WELD SET *
3.4.1 Switching Modes *
3.4.2 Switching Points *
3.4.3 Moving a Point *
3.4.4 Switching Special Modes and Choosing "No Weld" *
3.4.5 Selectively Displaying Weld Lines *
3.4.6 Using Zoom Windows *
3.4.7 Saving and Loading Weld Data *
3.4.8 Switching Welds *
3.4.9 Making Notes About a Weld *
3.4.10 Renaming a Weld *
3.5 Using the Custom Dimension Control *
3.6 USING THE WELD DIMENSION BOX *
3.7 ADVANCED MEASURING FEATURES *
3.7.1 Using the Universal Zoom Window *
3.7.2 Using the Point Description Window *
3.7.3 Using the Main Pop-Up Menu *
3.7.4 Using the Quick Placement Mode *
3.7.5 Using the Special Display Options *
126.96.36.199 Other Options *
188.8.131.52 Choosing Point Shape and Color *
4.2 SCALING FROM FEATURES ADDED TO AN IMAGE *
1.1 WELCOME TO NAMeS
The purpose of Native American Technologies Weld Measuring Software is to enable the user to measure objects such as welds, brazes, and electrical components. NAMeS was initially developed because conventional weld measurement methods were not accurate and the results were not reproducible. N. A. Technologies was using this information to "train" neural networks. Because the data was inaccurate and variable, the neural networks were also inaccurate. It was obvious that a new method for measuring the welds was needed.
NAMeS measures the weld by storing the shape of the weld bead. Using American Welding Society (AWS) standard definitions, key dimensions were then automatically calculated from the weld bead shape. Since the user is outlining the weld shape and no interpretations are needed, the measurements are both accurate and reproducible. When NAMeS measurement data was used to "train" neural networks, the networks were more accurate.
This measurement approach could be used in everyday applications such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) and monitoring of weld quality and as input for other modeling and engineering environment.
The following sections describe some of the key features
of NAMeS and the system requirements to run NAMeS.
1.2 WHAT IS NAMeS
NAMeS software allows quick and accurate measurement of engineering dimensions. This software also gives rapid accurate descriptions of weld dimensions and allows the user to:
1.3 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
NAMeS has the following minimum system requirements:
II. GETTING STARTED
This section will describe the steps taken to use NAMeS
and begin to measure welds. The following sections will guide you through
the installation of the software, describe the data NAMeS uses, and discuss
the file formats and naming conventions. We will also give you recommendations
for organizing your data and files and how to create a project. It is strongly
recommended that you follow the recommendations in Section 2.3. Otherwise
you could overwrite and lose valuable data.
2.1 INSTALLING NAMeS
To run the install program, follow these instructions:
2.b When prompted, reboot your computer.
4. It is recommended that you leave the NAMeS program files where the installation software recommends placing them. Also, after any upgrades choose the default directory to ensure that the latest version of NAMeS is always used.
5. If the
installation program installs DAO (Data Access Objects), the computer should
not need to reboot your computer afterwards. If it does, you should run
the installation again after rebooting and only install DAO.
2.2 HOW NAMeS USES IMAGES AND DATA
In order for a set of welds to be measured by NAMeS, a set of graphics files, one for each weld type, needs to be in a single directory. These graphics files can either be captured by NAMeS, or acquired by some other means, such as a scanner, and then placed in a directory where NAMeS can see them. Long file names are fully supported in NAMeS (beginning in Version 1.4), so the graphics files and the graphics directory can be given a meaningful descriptions.
NAMeS currently supports most PCX, JPG, PNG, TGA, TIF (non-compressed), and BMP images. Jpeg images use "lossy compression" in order to save hard drive space. If high quality images are desired, it is best to use the BMP or PNG save formats. PNG images tend to be one quarter of the size of BMP images, but can be slow to save and load on some machines.
NAMeS saves all data in a second directory called the
data directory. This data directory contains files that have identical
names of the image files, except with a .DAT extension. For example, a
graphics image file named "Cool Weld.PCX" would have a data file "Cool
Weld.DAT". All measurement data for a weld is saved in its .DAT file.
This section of the manual will assume that you wish to capture the images that you will measure using the video capture capabilities of NAMeS. If you have existing images or data, first set up graphics and data directories as discussed in section USING EXISTING IMAGES AND DATA.
To begin using NAMeS the user will need to create a
project. Click on the File Menu and choose New Project. The
Control window will appear, as seen in Figure 1. This window has four
"tabs": Graphics Files tab; Data Directory Location tab; Weld Type tab;
and Weld Settings tab. These tabs are described in detail below. To switch
between tabs, simply click on the tab you want. Once all project settings
are chosen, press the OK button located at the bottom of the screen. If
there are any problems, the tab that contains the error will be selected
as the current tab. Press the Cancel button to leave the Project Control
Window without making any changes to the program.
2.3.1 The Graphics Files Tab
This tab will allow the user to change the current graphics
directory, enable video capture options, and select the graphics files
to be measured. This is all displayed in Figure 2 below.
Figure 1 The project control window with the Graphics File Tab open.
184.108.40.206 Changing a Directory
The top box labeled Current Graphics Directory, displays where the graphics files are located and loaded into NAMeS (e.g. PCX, .PNG, .TIF, .BMP, or .JPG files). Also, any captured images will be saved into this directory. The graphics directory can be changed by clicking on the Browse… button (see section 220.127.116.11 Changing a Directory for more information). It is recommended that a different directory be chosen for each project that you measure. This will prevent two projects with similarly named welds, "Fillet 1" and "Fillet 1" for example, saving images and data over other projects.
Note: All captured images will be placed in
18.104.22.168 Choosing and Selecting Files
You can select the images you wish to measure by clicking
on them with the mouse. Images that you have selected will be highlighted.
To speed the process up you may select the Select All button. (See
Figure 1 on Page *.)
To deselect all of the files, press the Unselect All button. Clicking
on a file will select or deselect it. If there are many files, a scroll
bar will appear at the right side of the screen so that all of the files
can be viewed.
22.214.171.124 Video Capture Options
NAMeS has the ability to "capture" images using an external camera. To enable these abilities, the Video Capture Mode must be turned ON. To do this select Capture Enable from the Video Capture Options box. (See Figure 1 on Page *.) By selecting the capture enable button you may toggle between Video Capture Mode ON and OFF. Having this box ON is the only way to create a project when starting without weld images. The images will be captured after the project is created.
Note: at this time either select a new tab,
or if finished select the OK button at the bottom of the screen and
a new project will be created.
2.3.2 The Data Directory Location Tab
Next select the Data Directory Location Tab
from the Project Control Screen. A new screen will appear as shown in Figure
2 on page *. This tab
allows the selection of two different directories, the save directory and
the load directory. These are both data directories, the load directory
is where measurement data are loaded from, and the save directory is where
measurement data is saved to. Usually these should be the same directory,
that way data is loaded and saved in the same location. Choosing a different
directory for saving and loading data is one way to copy data without accidentally
corrupting it. For example, bringing old data into a new version of NAMeS.
If these directories are never changed, they should automatically match
the "Graphics Directory" described in Section "126.96.36.199 Changing a Directory."
Figure 2 The "Data Directory Location" tab screen. This is where to select directories for saving and loading data.
188.8.131.52 Changing the Current Save and Load Directory
To change the Current Save Directory or the Current
Load Directory, press the Change Directory button under the Directory
you want to change. Then choose the desired directory as described in Section
"2.3.5 Changing Directories." For the "Fillet Project" example in Figure
7 the save and load directory would be "D:\NAMeS\Fillet Project\Data".
184.108.40.206 Using the Short Cut Buttons
There are a total of four short cut buttons, two under the Save Directory, and two under the Load Directory.
The Current Save Directory box has the Copy Graphics Directory and the Copy Load Directory buttons. The Copy Graphics Path button will change the Current Save Directory to the same directory as the Graphics Directory. This would make the graphics and the save data have the exact same directory. This would be useful for storing the data and the graphics together. The Copy Load Path button would make the Current Save Directory the same as the Current Load Directory.
The Current Load Directory box has the Copy
Graphics Directory and the Copy Save Directory buttons. The Copy Graphics
Path button will change the Current Load Directory to the same directory
of the Graphics Directory. This would make the graphics and the load data
directory have the exact same directory. This would be useful for storing
the data and graphics files together. The Copy Save Path button
would have the Current Load Directory be the same as the Current Save Directory.
2.3.3 The Weld Type Tab
The Weld Type window is accessed by clicking on the
third tab from the right labeled Weld Type. This screen is where
the weld type is chosen. The Select Weld Type box displays a list
of the possible weld types. To select the weld type, click on the type
of weld being measured. Pressing the Reset button will restore the
original weld type. (See Figure 3 on page *.)
After selecting the weld type, be sure to check the "weld settings" before
Figure 3 The "Weld Type" Tab which is used to choose the weld type being measured.
2.3.4 The Weld Settings Tab
The Weld Settings Tab allows different settings to be chosen for a weld type so that the weld model can describe the welds to be measured more completely. The Weld Setting tab is shown in Figure 4 on page *. For further information on selecting a weld type see Section "2.3.3 The Weld Type Tab".
Consider the following example. After performing a T-fillet weld, the plates are usually not exactly 90 degrees apart because of shrinkage of the weld bead after welding. If the amount of change in the angle between the welded plates is important, the "Measure angle between the plates?" can be toggled to YES. This will cause the angle between the plates to be one of the dimensions measured by NAMeS. However, if this angle is not important, choosing NO will cause NAMeS to skip the angle measurement and always assume a 90 degree angle between the plates.
Figure 4 The "Weld Settings" Tab is used to select settings for the weld model that match the type of weld being measured.
Any weld settings that are necessary to make measurements will be selected at the Weld Settings Tab. The Weld Setting Tab will display different parameters for each weld type. For example, a fillet weld may have two parameters, whereas a butt weld may have thirteen. If there are no weld parameters to select, the box will say so.
You may select a parameter to change by using the mouse and clicking on the parameter. When the parameter is highlighted it will also be displayed below the white box. However, below the white box, there will be either a check box or an input box next to the parameter.
How to Modify Weld Settings.
There are two techniques to changing a parameter. The first technique is to change the yes/no toggle box. The second technique is to edit the input boxes.
1. Yes/No Toggle box
Figure 5 The "Choose Directory Window" used to choose directories.
The following steps explain how to select up the directory "c:\NAMeS Projects\Fillet Project" shown in Figure 5.
1. Select the drive from the drives box.
To create a directory, simply type the names of the
new directory into the Current Directory: box. For example, to make
the directory "C:\NAMeS Projects\Fillet Project\ New" directory, first
choose the "D:\NAMeS Projects\Fillet Project" directory then type "\New"
onto the end of the directory name. When you click Select the directory
will be created if it does not already exist.
When finished choosing a directory, press the Select
2.4 Using Video Capture in NAMeS
The following section will describe how to use a video capture camera to produce images of your weld.
At this time the user should have NAMeS Software installed and a video capture card and camera installed and working on the computer. Do the following after starting NAMeS:
1. Choose New Project from the File Menu.
2. Select the directory path you wish to save the Images to.
If there are any existing images to place in this project also, choose the directory where the existing .PCX files are, and the new images will be placed in the same directory.
Note: If the picture is not updating press the preview or overlay button.
* Note for video cards supporting Overlay * Video overlay allows the video card to display video directly to the video display, allowing a very smooth picture to be displayed on the monitor. However, Video For Windows will only capture in preview mode. So in order to use overlay mode, preview mode must be supported in the same color format. (16-bit color overlay mode will work with 16-bit color preview mode; however, if 16-bit preview mode is not supported, a black image will be captured.)
8. Adjust the camera and sample so it is in focus and appears inside of the black box.
Note: For some project types, such as measuring a Frame, the weld image will be automatically named. Any assumed name will be given in the title bar of the window.
Figure 6 The Video Capture Window is used to capture weld images into NAMeS
Freeze Button - This Freeze button freezes the image to be measured.
Cancel Button - This will cancel the video capture.
Repeat Check Box - If this box is checked, then pressing the Capture button will capture the image, and return to the Capture window to allow multiple images to be captured before returning to the main NAMeS window. To terminate capture, either deselect the Repeat check box and capture a final image, or click on Cancel.
Preview Button - The Preview button activates "Preview" and displays the video preview image in the video window. This allows the user to adjust the image for quality. Previewing will go through about 4 to 15 frames per second (fps) depending on the speed of the computer and video card.
Overlay Button - The Overlay button activates "Overlay" and the video card displays the video from the camera directly into the video window. This allows the user to most easily adjust the image for quality (unless an external monitor is available). Overlay mode will have around 30 frames per second (fps). (If Overlay mode is not supported by the video capture card, then this button will be grayed out.)
Set Box Color Button - Pressing this button brings up a palette window which can be used to change the color of the box that is drawn around the video capture area (Not visible unless the capture area is smaller than the video size). (The box is magenta in Figure 6.)
Set Box Style Button - Pressing this button changes the type of box being drawn around the capture area. (The box is three pixels wide in Figure 6.)
Video Source Button - This will be determined by the video capture driver. Typically this is used to select the type of input the video card is receiving from the camera.
Video Format Button - This will be determined by the video capture driver. Typically this will allow the selection of such video image attributes as "bits-per-pixel" (8, 16, or 24 bit capture).
Video Display Button - This will be determined by your own video capture equipment. Typically this will allow the selection of the size of the video displayed and captured. (Not shown)
Next Driver Button - This button selects the next Video For Windows driver on the computer. This will only work if there is more than one driver. The name of the current driver will be displayed at the top of the Capture Window in the title bar. The most recently selected driver should be remembered by NAMeS between program runs.
Image Size Combo- This combo box allows the desired image size to be selected. It is currently recommended that the "640x480" size be used.
Combo- This combo box allows the choice between capturing
a 24 bit color image, 256 color grey-scale image and a 256 color image.
The 24 bit color images are recommended. The advantage of the 24 bit color
is that the images will be clearer; however, they will be larger than 256
2.5.1 Organizing Data
If you have existing data or images, organization of directories should precede creating a project.
The simplest way to organize the data is to have a different directory for each project that you create in NAMeS. Then place all of the weld data, and the graphics files in this directory. This keeps the data files and the weld image files together. As long as you do not modify the information under the "Data Directory Location" tab, this will be the default behavior of NAMeS.
A more complex way to organize your data is to create a project directory for each project such as "Fillet Project". Then in that directory create two directories: a graphics directory called "GRAPHICS" for the graphics files, and a data directory called "DATA" in which the .DAT files will be located. The data files will hold information created by measuring the welds with the NAMeS software. See Figure 7 below. This results in every project having its own data and graphics folders specific to that project.
Figure 7 An example file hierarchy.
Note: If the .PCX files or the .DAT files are moved for any reason (this includes renaming directories), the project will need to be recreated.
The following activities require the manipulation of the .DAT files. Most of the manipulations will take place in the Data Directory Location tab in Section 2.4.2.
If the welds that are to be characterized have already been measured in the past, the old data files can be reused. To do this, simply place ALL of the data files for the welds into a data directory.
1. Open Windows Explorer from the Start Menu of Windows 95
2. Locate the path of your existing data
3. Select the data files you wish to load into NAMeS
4. Drag and Drop the data files into the data directories you have created
*NOTE *: Due to the possibility of error importing older *.DAT files into a new version of NAMeS, it is HIGHLY recommended that you have a backup copy of all weld data files before allowing NAMeS to modify or use them. **
** WARNING!! READING AND HEEDING THE ABOVE NOTE CAN SAVE MUCH TIME.
2.5.3 Starting with Existing Weld Images
If there is no capture ability on the computer, or PCX files already exist, then NAMeS can use the existing PCX files. To use existing PCX images, they must be placed on a hard drive to achieve best performance and speed. Simply copy all of the PCX files into a directory NAMeS can access.
To Copying Images to a Graphics Directory:
1. Open Windows Explorer from the Start Menu of Windows 95
2. Locate the path of your existing Images
III. USING THE MAIN WINDOW
A basic understanding of the features of the main NAMeS interface is needed before any welds can be measured. There are three basic steps to measuring a weld:
Note: There is a separate help file for
each weld type. To view this help information, under the main menu choose
then Weld Type Specific Help.
3.1 SAVING AND RESTORING PROJECTS
When NAMeS starts out, there is just a white box with
the text "No weld image was loaded" and "No project has been loaded". To
get a weld image into the main window, either create a new project as described
in the previous section, or choose Restore Project from the
Menu located at the top of the window. This process is shown in
Section "3.1.2 Restoring a Project" below.
3.1.1 Saving a Project
1. Choose Save Project from the File Menu.
2. Choose the location path where you would like to save the project.
3.1.2 Restoring a Project
1. Choose Restore Project from the File Menu.
2. Choose the location path where you saved your project.
3.1.3 Recovering from Changed Directory Names
When restoring a project, if NAMeS is unable to find the project’s graphics or data directory, then it is likely that someone has either moved or renamed the project directories. Your first indication that NAMeS is having trouble opening a project will be a dialog similar to the following one.
Pay attention to which images could not be located on the first error dialog. If the location of these files is unknown, try using the Windows Find program to locate which directory has these images. The location of the save files associated with the images will be needed also.
In the "Please select the new image and data directories" dialog, there is a place to select the graphics and the image directory. The box labeled "Graphics Directory" shows the current graphics directory, as well as a list of all of the images located in that directory. Click the "Browse…" button to change this directory to the directory where your images are found.
If the images and data were in the same directory when the project was last saved, then the "Data Load Directory" box will update as you change the Graphics Directory. If this directory is different, click on the second "Browse…" button to change the directory to where the project data should be loaded from.
If desired, a third directory can be specified by pressing
the "Save to Alternate Directory" button. The "Data Save Directory" is
where NAMeS will save the .DAT files to as the project is viewed.
3.1.4 Editing a Project
To edit an existing project, choose Edit Project
from the File Menu. This will bring up the "Edit Project"
window which can be used to edit the project information. The welds that
are in the project, the location to save and load data, the type of weld,
and the weld settings can all be modified. See Section "," which begins
on page *, for more information.
3.2 ENTERING WELD DIMENSIONS
Certain measurements of the weld must be entered for the model to provide useful information. One piece of information that any image needs to be useful is a scale. So every model has a place for you to enter the scale of the image. Typically, there are several scaling options given, and the desired option is selected with a check mark. For example, Figure 10 shows a model that can be scaled off of the "Top Thickness" the "Bottom Thickness" or the "Scale Length". Currently the scale length is checked, and a value of 10 is entered. This means that a scale has been added to this image, and a scaling feature is measuring a length of 10 in the image. For more information on what the dimensions represent, go to the Weld Type Specific Help under the Help menu.
Figure 10 Weld dimension edit boxes.
3.3 REVERSING, FLIPPING, AND ROTATING THE WELD IMAGE
If the weld picture is a mirror image from the outline of the weld that appears in the window, then the image needs to be "reversed". To do this, simply click on the bottom Flip button, shown in Figure 11, which is located on the lower left side of the main window. This takes the picture, mirrors it horizontally, and saves it under the same name as the original PCX image. The image can be flipped vertically in the same manner by pressing the other Flip button, the one on top of the two Flip buttons. The Rotate button rotates the image clockwise 90 degrees.
Figure 11 These buttons rotate and flip the weld image. The binoculars bring up the Watch window.
Note: THESE FUNCTIONS OVERWRITE THE WELD IMAGE WITH THE TRANSFORMED IMAGE. Be sure to perform a test rotation with a backed up or unnecessary image to make sure it is compatible with your system before losing data.
3.4 MEASURING A WELD SET
There are several "points" for measuring both the position
of the plates and position of the weld bead relative to the plates. The
default look of these points is shown in Figure 12. These points move the
lines that describe the weld around. Some dimension measurements are made
from the lines the points move, while others are made from the actual position
of the points. For more information on point placement and weld dimensions,
see the specific help for each weld type. This help can be accessed by
choosing Weld Type Specific Help… from the Help
Figure 12 These are the default points. The red point is the selected point.
3.4.1 Switching Modes
The plate points are moved in Plate Mode, while the weld bead points are moved in the Weld Mode. Plate Mode may be entered by selecting Measure Plates from the Options Menu, or by clicking on the Plate button shown in Figure 13. Weld Mode may be entered by choosing Measure Weld from the Options Menu, or by clicking on the button labeled Weld located near the bottom of the main window. Net Mode allows NAMeS to display neural network predictions of the weld shape on top of the original weld image. Net Mode may be entered by choosing View Net Predicted Weld from the Options Menu, or by clicking on the button labeled Net.
Figure 13 These buttons change between the three measuring modes.
3.4.2 Switching Points
To choose a specific point use the plus and minus buttons
located in the arrow pad (see Figure 14). The plus sign will go to the
next point, whereas the minus sign will go to the previous point. In addition,
by left-clicking on a point, that point will be chosen. In the upper right
corner of the screen is an information box. This box tells the user the
name of the image that is displayed, the type of weld it is, and the point
that is selected. For a more detailed description of the point, select
Descriptions from the Special WindowsMenu.
Figure 14 The "+" and "-" buttons switch between points. The arrow pad moves the currently selected point in the direction the button points.
Another way to change points is using the robot arm buttons. Clicking
a robot arm shown in will grab the point so that where ever
you click with the mouse next the point will try to go there. The "+" robot
arm will grab the next point, and the "-" robot arm will try to grab the
3.4.3 Moving a Point
There is an arrow pad in the bottom left corner of the main window (see Figure 14). The inner arrows will move one point at a time. Whereas, the outer arrows will jump several points at once. The arrow that is pressed is the direction the point will move.
There are three (four) methods to moving points:
3.4.4 Switching Special Modes and Choosing "No Weld"
Many of the welds have a special button to choose between two types of possible weld bead shapes. For example, in a lead battery resistance weld model, there is either one pool or two pools of molten lead (there is actually a ring of molten lead, but it looks like two pools in the cross section). A button labeled One Pool or Two Pools is used to switch between the two bead shapes.
Most weld types have a No Weld button on the right side of the screen. This button should be pressed for a weld that has turned out so poorly that it is immeasurable. When No Weld is selected, a message is placed on the weld image that says "THIS IS A BAD WELD." When this weld is used to generate a set of weld measurements, all of the measurements will be -999.
* Note * Even bad welds need
to be measured and placed in the neural network model sometimes.
3.4.5 Selectively Displaying Weld Lines
Many weld types have the ability to toggle whether the weld bead outline and the plate outline is drawn or not. In the upper right corner of the main window are six weld line buttons which allow the user to manipulate various measurement modes.
Figure 16 The toggle outline buttons choose which lines are drawn.
The far left button controls the plate lines. By pressing this button the plate lines will disappear. When you press it again the plate lines will appear. The next button will allow the user to control the weld outline using the same process. The third and fourth buttons will be used for some weld types to toggle various measurements. For example, a battery resistance weld will use those two buttons to toggle the tangents to the weld bead at the edges of the weld bead. The fifth button will control any special measurement. The far right button controls the points that allow the user to measure the weld.
Note: Although these buttons are visible, each button does not necessarily do something for each weld type. Some models do hide the unused buttons.
Note: In the Universal Zoom Window the X,C,V,B,N,
and M keys toggle these setting independently of the main window.
3.4.6 Using Zoom Windows
Some of the welds have special zoom windows that open to aide in positioning points. The zoom windows will contain the portion of the window shown inside the blue zoom box. This box is moved by dragging the upper left corner of the box, and is resized by using the lower right corner. When moving a point in the zoom box the arrow pad cannot be used. Use the mouse or keyboard. When clicking on a point in a zoom window the window may disappear. To prevent this, choose Always Open from the Zoom window Options Menu, or the Main windows Special Windows Menu. To re-scale the zoom window, select Scale from the Zoom window Options menu and then choose which scale is needed. To keep the zoom windows closed, choose the Keep Z-Windows Closed option from the Special Windows Menu.
* Note * It is recommended
for most cases that the Keep Z-Windows Closed option be used,
and the Universal Zoom be used instead. See Section "3.7.1 Using the Universal
Zoom Window" for more information.
3.4.7 Saving and Loading Weld Data
Once a weld has been measured, the data needs to be saved.
Switching to a new weld or quitting the program AUTOMATICALLY SAVES your
weld data under the same filename as the weld image, but with a .DAT extension.
If a save needs to be done in the middle of measuring, say before a questionable
change to the weld shape, the Save Weld Data option from
the File Menu or Ctrl+S will save the information.
If a mistake is made while measuring, the Load Weld Data
option from the File Menu or Ctrl+L will restore
the last saved .DAT file.
3.4.8 Switching Welds
To switch to the next weld in a project, click on the Next Weld button in the middle bottom of the main window or press the Page Up key. To switch to the previous weld in a project, click the Last Weld button or press the Page Down key. These buttons are shown in Figure 17. The box in the upper-right corner of the screen will show which weld is currently being measured. The Arrows buttons on either side of the Last Weld and Next Weld buttons skip ten welds at a time. Another way to do this is by using CTRL-Page Up and CTRL-Page Down.
Figure 17 The Weld Buttons switch between welds in the project.
3.4.9 Making Notes About a Weld
It is possible to save a note about a weld in the weld’s data file. To open and close the Weld Note window, press the weld note button shown below. This note will be available when the weld is reopened in NAMeS. Also, a list of all of the weld notes can be written to a file by choosing Export or Import Data Files… from the Project Options menu. Then choose to Output Weld Notes.
Figure 18 The Weld Note box is a convinient place to make short reminders for a weld.
3.4.10 Renaming a Weld
The name of a weld can be changed in NAMeS. This could
be useful if an error is made when entering the name of a weld. This will
attempt to rename the image file, and the data file. If an error is encountered,
such as a read-only file, then the name will not be changed. To rename
a file, go to the Options menu, choose Rename Weld…,
and then type in a new name for the file. Note: The file can not be renamed
until the data file has been saved at least once.
3.5 Using the Custom Dimension Control
The Custom Dimension Window allows the physical dimensions defined by the current weld template to be viewed. Unlike the "Watch" window discussed in the next section, the Custom Dimension Window allows the description of each dimension to be customized. To get to this box select Special Dimension Control from the View Menu of the main window. The Custom Dimension Control is shown in Figure 19.
To access the advanced controls shown, Right-Click and choose Edit Control Mode… The box will hold up to six dimensions at one time. The Add button will add a dimension to the end of the list. The Remove button will delete the currently highlighted dimension. The Move Up and Move Down buttons move the selected dimension up or down in the list, allowing the dimensions to be rearranged. The Edit button edits the selected dimension using the same interface as adding dimension described below. The Edit Title button allows the title of the dialog and the column headers to be renamed; for example, here the title "Custom Dimension Dialog" could be renamed to "Useful Fillet Dimensions".
Figure 19 The Custom Dimension Control showing the advanced controls.
Adding a Dimension
To Add a dimension to the list, you can either click on Add in the advanced controls, or you can Right-Click and choose Add Dimension… from the pop-up menu. This will bring up the dialog shown in Figure 20. You select the desired dimension in the NAMeS Name combo box. This name is the name that the template uses to identify the dimension. The Custom Name box is the name that will be shown in the Custom Dimension Control. Type any name into this box, or click on the arrow to use the NAMeS name. Once you are finished choosing a dimension and name, click OK.
Figure 20 This dialog is used to add and edit the dimensions in the Custom Dimension Control.
Editing a Dimension
To edit a dimension, double-click on it in the list, or right-click and choose Edit Selection from the pop-up menu. You then edit the dimension using the interface shown in Figure 20 and described above.
Removing a Dimension
Once you no longer need a dimension, you can delete it from the list in one of two ways. Highlight the dimension, right-click, then choose Remove Dimension… from the pop-up menu. Also, you can bring up the advanced controls and just press the Remove button.
Saving and Restoring Custom Dimensions
Once you have set up your custom dimensions, you can save the list of dimensions to disk. Simply do a right-click and choose Save Dimension Settings… from the pop-up menu. Here you choose a NCD (Names Custom Dimensions) file to save your list of dimensions in. I recommend choosing a name that contains both the weld type and a descriptions of the dimensions such as "Fillet Weld SPC Dimensions.NCD". This is a good idea because the dimensions that you choose in the fillet weld model will not match up with the same dimensions in any other model.
To restore the dimensions at a later date, first open
the custom dimension dialog like normal. Choose Restore Dimension
Settings… from the pop-up menu. Then find your save file and click
the Open button.
The current custom dimensions will be saved into a NAMeS save file (.NAM)
whenever you save your project. So you do not need to save and restore
your dimension settings manually unless you wish to use them in different
3.6 USING THE WELD DIMENSION BOX
The Weld Dimension Box allows the user to
view the physical measurements as defined by the current weld profile.
To get to this box select Watches from the Special
Windows Menu of the main window. (Or press the binoculars
button shown in Figure 11 on page *.)
The dimension watch window is shown in Figure 21. This option gives the
user the opportunity to view specific dimensions while measuring the weld
bead. The box will hold up to six dimensions at one time. Some dimensions
are not defined all of the time; for example, the width of penetration
of a weld that doesn’t penetrate into the plate. Undefined measurements
may be set 0.0 if that is reasonable, others will be given the value of
-999.0 to show that they are not defined. Any dimension that is not defined
for the given weld settings (See Section "2.3.4 The Weld Settings Tab")
will be set to -999.0. For example, the reinforcement angle will be -999.0
if the "Measure Reinforcement Angle?" is answered NO.
Figure 21 The Weld Dimension Box displays selected dimensions as the weld is measured.
To select a dimension press the Change button. Pressing the arrow button to the right of the box in the next window (Figure 22) in will display a list of the possible dimensions. Scroll through the available dimensions and select the desired dimension. Pressing up and down while the box is selected will switch between dimensions also.
Figure 22 This window is used to choose which dimension to watch.
NOTE Starting in NAMeS version
1.6xx, the "Custom Dimension Control" can be used instead of the weld dimension
3.7 ADVANCED MEASURING FEATURES
There are features which have been added to make measuring
welds faster and easier. These include the Universal Zoom
window, the Point Description window, the Pop-Up Menu,
and the Quick Place mode (this name is likely to change soon).
3.7.1 Using the Universal Zoom Window
The Universal Zoom Window zooms in on a portion of the weld image, and can be a great aide in positioning points. To open the Universal Zoom Window, choose Universal Zoom Window from the Special Windows menu. The Universal Zoom centers on wherever the left mouse button is clicked on the main weld image. It also centers on a point as it is moved around the main window. Points can also be moved in the Universal Zoom window, simply click on the point in the window and drag it just as in the main window. The actual Universal Zoom Window is moved just as any other window, and re-sizing the window changes the size of the zoomed image inside the window. When moving a point in the zoom box the arrow pad cannot be used; however, the number-pad on the keyboard will move points (if keyboard support is included in the weld model). To re-scale the zoom window, select Scale from the Options menu and then choose which scale is needed. To close the Universal Zoom Window, click on the "X" in the upper right corner of the window, or choose Universal Zoom Window option from the Special Windows Menu a second time.
Note: Clicking with the right button on the edges of the Universal Zoom Window will move the picture to center on that point.
* Note * It is recommended for most cases that the Keep Z-Windows Closed option be used, and the Universal Zoom be used instead. See Section "3.7.1 Using the Universal Zoom Window" for more information.
Figure 23 The Universal Zoom Window zooms in on the weld image.
3.7.2 Using the Point Description Window
The Point Description Window, shown in Figure 24, gives
a description of where to place the point on the weld profile, and shows
an example profile with the bead placed correctly. To bring up the Point
Description Window, choose Point Description from the Special
Windows menu. When the window opens, it will have a description
of where to place the current point. Below the description are three buttons:
Weld View, Plate Outline, and Weld Outline. The Weld View
button opens and closes a picture of the weld that will appear below the
buttons. This weld picture shows a generic picture of the weld, and in
some weld models will show a picture of the weld that reflects the shape
of the current weld. The Plate Outline button activates Quick
Placement Mode for the plate points. The Weld Outline button
activates Quick Placement Mode for the weld points. For more information
on the Quick Placement Mode, read Section "3.7.4 Using the Quick Placement
Figure 24 The Point Description Window helps learn where to place the points.
3.7.3 Using the Main Pop-Up Menu
If the right mouse button is clicked inside of the main
NAMeS window, a "Pop-Up Menu" will appear with a list of commonly used
menu options. Each of these options is discussed below, but not in the
order they appear on the menu.
Quick Place Plates
Quick Place Plates activates Quick Placement Mode for the plate points. For more information on the Quick Placement Mode, read Section "3.7.4 Using the Quick Placement Mode."
Quick Place Weld
Quick Place Weld activates Quick Placement Mode for the weld points. For more information on the Quick Placement Mode, read Section "3.7.4 Using the Quick Placement Mode."
Terminate Quick Placement
Terminate Quick Placement deactivates Quick Placement Mode.
Reset All Points
Reset All Points moves all of the points to the original position for the points when the weld model was first selected. This is useful if a point gets moved off the weld area, or the previously measured weld was very oddly shaped and the default shape is closer to the shape of the current weld to be measured.
Reset Point Position
Reset Point Position places a point at a new position based on the current weld profile. For example, in the lap weld model, point 7 (the point that describes the shape of the weld in the gap) will be moved to the exact center of points 2 and 3 (the points on the plate surfaces that form the gap). This is useful if there is no gap because point 7 will be placed exactly where it belongs. Not every point can be reset. For more information on the lap weld model and other models, see the individual weld help discussed in Section "3.4 MEASURING A WELD SET."
Select Point can be used to set the currently selected point to any point. After choosing the Select Point option, the window shown in Figure 25 will open up asking for a point number. After typing in the point number, make sure that the desired mode is selected by the radio buttons. In Figure 25, weld mode is selected (see Section "3.4.1 Switching Modes" for more information on measuring modes). If the entered point does not exist or can not be selected, a message will be displayed saying, "Unable to Select Point."
Figure 25 The Point Selection window is used to choose any point.
Grab Point first brings up the window
shown in Figure 25. Now select a point as discussed above. Now push down
the left button on the weld image where the selected point should be placed.
To drag the point, hold the left button down and move the mouse. Release
the mouse button to stop dragging the point.
3.7.4 Using the Quick Placement Mode
The "Quick Placement Mode" can substantially speed up measuring welds. Once Quick Placement Mode is started, each point is grabbed automatically and placed where the left button is clicked on the weld image. As soon as the left button is released, the next point is chosen and placed where the left button is clicked. This continues until all of the points have been placed.
There are two sets of points to be placed, the weld points and the plate points. To start placement of one of the sets of points, first click on the "Plate Outline" or "Weld Outline" buttons on the Point Description Window (see Section "3.7.2 Using the Point Description Window") or from the Pop-Up menu choose Quick Place Plates or Quick Place Weld. If the Status Bar is present at the bottom of the window, (Status Bar on the View menu will activate the Status Bar if it is not active.) the current point being grabbed will be displayed in a pane on the right side of the Status Bar. For a weld picture and description showing where the current point is to be placed, bring up the Point Description Window discussed in Section "3.7.2 Using the Point Description Window."
* Note * Not all weld types
currently support Quick Placement Mode.
3.7.5 Using the Special Display Options
The Special Display Options may be used to show point descriptions, weld dimensions, set point repeat rates, and change line and point colors. This window will only open when a project is open. To get to the Special Display Options window, choose Special Display Options from the Options Menu. This window is shown in Error! Reference source not found. below. There are two tabs; Set Special Point Options tab and Choose Point Shape and Color tab. Figure 27 shows the Special Point Options Tab.
Figure 26 The Special Display Options Window has many controls on one screen.
220.127.116.11 Choosing New Repeat Rates
The repeat rate is the number of milliseconds between clicks when buttons on the arrow pad are held down on the main window. For example, the default repeat rate of 100 translates to 100 milliseconds between clicks, or 10 clicks per second. With faster repeat rates, a smaller number, there may be insufficient time to move the point and redraw the weld before the next click. This results in a repeat rate slower than the one specified. The Fast Move Repeat Rate is the repeat rate for the outside arrows on the arrow pad. The Fast Move Velocity is the number of pixels that are moved when the outer arrows, or the Arrow keys with Control are pressed.
18.104.22.168 Other Options
There are other options available from the Choose Special Display Options window. A brief description of each follows:
Clicking on the second tab labeled Choose Point Shape and Color Tab brings up a list of all available point shapes and line colors. This is shown below in Figure 27.
Figure 27 The Choose Point Shape and Color Tab customizes the point style and colors.
Each point is composed of four different patterns, each drawn over the other. To create a custom shape, simply click on a shape in each of the four Point Boxes located in the gray bars. To deactivate a point box, click on the empty space at the left side of the Point Box. There are two point types: the point that is currently selected, on the right of the box, and all the other points, shown on the left of the box. It is recommended that these be of greatly different coloring so they are easily distinguished from each other.
To change the color of a point, click on the Color Boxes at the right of the Point Box. The top of the box is the common color, the bottom of the box is the current color. To open the Color Window click on the color box you wish to change. The Color Window is shown below in Figure 28. When the window opens select the desired point color, and press OK. To choose a color that is not in the default colors, click on the Define Custom Colors button. Move the mouse about the square to choose the color You may also use the arrow on the right to choose the brightness of the color. In 256 color mode, the color may not be available, and the closest color will be chosen. This color is shown on the left side of the Color | Solid box which appears after pushing the custom colors button.
Figure 28 The Color Dialog is used to choose a color, press the Define Custom Colors button to choose a color not already shown.
The user may also select colors for the plate lines, weld lines, frame boxes, tab colors, and other special colors. These various lines may be selected in the Choose Point Shape and Color screen from the Choose Special Display Options Window. Select the color box next to the line color you wish to change. Choose the color as described above.
IV. USING WELD IMAGES IN NAMES
It is recommended that weld images for NAMeS be 24 bit color images saved in PNG or BMP format. Jpeg images, and 256 color formats are supported, but generally produce lower quality images. The view space in current versions of NAMeS is 640 (horizontal) by 480 (vertical) pixels; however, larger pictures can be used in NAMeS if you can set up a large enough desktop to view them! If your images are larger than your desktop settings will support, images will be clipped to the maximum viewable size before being displayed.
The information that needs to be present in each photograph and scanned image is fairly straightforward, but will vary between different welds:
4.1 HOW THE TRUE IMAGE SCALE IS DETERMINED BY NAMeS
The scale for each weld can vary greatly between images.
If a simple camera is used to capture the weld images, the scale will change
drastically depending on the type of lens and the focal length; how far
is the object from the camera. For many weld types, a scaling feature such
as a known plate thickness can be used to scale the images. The plate thickness
would then be compared against the actual number of pixels that represent
that thickness on the screen, resulting in a scaling factor such as 134
pixels : 1 mm.
4.2 SCALING FROM FEATURES ADDED TO AN IMAGE
Some welds do not have a feature that can be used as a known length, for these welds more complex methods of scaling can be used. The easiest way to find the size of an image from a microscope is to use the magnification of the picture. If the same magnification is used for every image, it is easy to calculate the actual scale of an image. Unfortunately, once that image is fed into a computer, it is not clear how this scale relates to the weld image.
What is needed is some object of known length in the image, so that the true length of the object can be compared to the apparent length of the object in the weld image.
These methods WILL ONLY WORK if the weld model has a FREE FLOATING SCALE that can be moved independently of where the weld is. Examine individual weld help to see if a particular weld supports using a free floating scale. This added scale set in the weld settings by the question "Scale off added scale?"
Scaling Method 1:
The most commonly used scaling method currently is to place a ruler or item of known length on top of the weld cross-section while the picture of the weld is taken. It is important that the scale be as close to the same plane as the weld cross-section plane, so a thin scale would be better than a thick scale.
Scaling Method 2:
One method of scaling photomicrographs of a known magnification is to scan in the photomicrograph with one edge in the scanned image, and then use that edge as the scaling feature. The edge can be measured, with a ruler, and converted to the length of that edge in the sample dimensions. For example, consider a magnification of 6 times, when the edge of the photomicrograph is 3 inches long. The scale length is then (3 in)*(1/6) = .5 in.
Scaling Method 3:
An error prone method would be to use a stage micrometer.
A stage micrometer is a device that has graduations of known length marked
on its surface. If a photomicrograph of the stage micrometer is taken under
the same conditions, same lenses and plane of focus, as those used to photograph
the weld images, then this photomicrograph can be used to accurately determine
the magnification of the micrographs. This could be used in NAMeS by naming
the stage micrometer image 1.pcx so it will be first, and then setting
the scale line of the weld model to line up with the stage micrometer,
ignoring the other weld points. Once the scale points have been placed,
NEVER MOVE THEM, and use that scale length for all of the weld images.
This is never recommended and should not be attempted with a V-Tec system.
Appendix A: Answers to frequently asked questions
Q: I measured my whole project, but when I opened it all the weld outlines seemed to be shifted around.
A: Most likely you have not properly set up your graphics
and data directories when you created your project. Perhaps all of your
data is being saved into the same directory so that other projects you
have measured are overwriting data. Make sure that you have a separate
directory for each project, and ensure that you data directories match
your graphics directory. (See section "2.3 CREATING A PROJECT" for more
Q: I received the message "Error reading xxx header: XXX", "X:\Directory\Myfile.xxx is not a xxx file or file does not exist!" (xxx is your file type, such as pcx, bmp, or png, XXX will be the cause of the problem).
A: Depends on the cause (XXX):
A1: You probably changed your Save and Load Directories to be different places. NAMeS would then be saving your information to one directory, and attempting to load from another. To check this, go to the "File" menu and choose "Edit Project". Then click on the "Data Directory Location" tab. Make sure that "Current Save Directory" and the "Current Load Directory" are the same.
A2: You also could have moved or changed your data directory
or data files (*.dat). Replace the files, or recreate your project, and
make sure that the "Load Data Directory" contains .DAT files that have
the same names as the .PCX files you choose in the "Graphics Directory".
Q: Why do I get the message "Capture Card not detected" when I click on the Capture Enabled box in the Project Control window?
A: Do you have a video capture card? If not, Video Capture Mode can not be Enabled.
If you have a capture card, make sure that it is installed
correctly using any included installation programs. See Section "2.4 Using
Video Capture in NAMeS" starting on page *
for more information.
Q: Why is it so hard to transfer projects between computers?
A: There hasn’t been time to improve the process. Later versions of NAMeS will (hopefully) be improved greatly in this area, and in project creation. For now, just try to place all of the files in directories with identical names on both computers. Make sure you remember all of the .PCX, the .DAT, and the .NAM files. For more information, see section "3.1.3 Recovering from Changed Directory Names."