A novel, low-cost technique for modelless calibration of a 3-axis parallel kinematic machine
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel measurement technique and a modelless calibration method for improving the positioning accuracy of a three-axis parallel kinematic machine (PKM). The aim is to present a low-cost calibration alternative, for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as educational and research teams, with no expensive measuring devices at their disposal.
Design/methodology/approach: Using a chessboard pattern on a ground-truth plane, a digital indicator, a two-dimensional eye-in-hand camera and a laser pointer, positioning errors are explored in the machine workspace. With the help of these measurements, interpolation functions are set up per direction, resulting in an interpolation vector function to compensate the volumetric errors in the workspace.
Findings: Based on the proof-of-concept system for the linear-delta PKM, it is shown that using the proposed measurement technique and modelless calibration method, positioning accuracy is significantly improved using simple setups.
Originality/value: In the proposed method, a combination of low-cost devices is applied to improve the three-dimensional positioning accuracy of a PKM. By using the presented tools, the parametric kinematic model is not required; furthermore, the calibration setup is simple, there is no need for hand–eye calibration and special fixturing in the machine workspace.