Learn a Trade: CMM Programmer

CMM Programmer sets a probe to measure a machined part

What does a CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) Programmer do?

CMM Programmers are in demand.  A CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) Programmer is responsible for writing and maintaining programs for Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), which are precision measuring instruments used to inspect the dimensions and geometries of manufactured parts. The CMM Programmer creates, tests, and modifies programs that control the movement of the CMM probe and collect data on the dimensions of the parts being measured. They may also be responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting the CMM hardware and software systems and ensuring that the machines are properly calibrated and producing accurate measurements.

Which industries do CMM Programmers work in?

CMM Programmers can work in a variety of industries that require precision measurements of manufactured parts, including:

  1. Aerospace and defense
  2. Automotive
  3. Medical device manufacturing
  4. Consumer goods and electronics
  5. Machinery and tool manufacturing
  6. Mold and die production
  7. Energy and power generation
  8. Research and development laboratories

These industries use CMMs to perform quality control inspections on their products and to ensure that they meet the necessary specifications and standards. The role of a CMM Programmer is critical in these industries, as they ensure that the measurements taken by the CMMs are accurate and repeatable.

What are the more popular CMM programs out there?

There are several popular software programs that are used for programming and operating Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs). Some of the most widely used include:

  1. PC-DMIS: Developed by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, PC-DMIS is one of the most widely used CMM software programs in the world.
  2. Metrolog X4: Developed by Metrologic Group, Metrolog X4 is a versatile CMM software program that is used for both offline and online programming and inspection.
  3. Calypso: Developed by Renishaw, Calypso is a user-friendly CMM software program that is widely used in the automotive, aerospace, and medical device industries.
  4. Qualisys Track Manager (QTM): Developed by Qualisys, QTM is a versatile CMM software program that is used for both offline and online programming and inspection.
  5. SP25: Developed by Mitutoyo, SP25 is a powerful CMM software program that is widely used in the aerospace, automotive, and machine tool industries.

These software programs offer a range of features, including automated part alignment, advanced data analysis and reporting, and the ability to interface with other software systems. The selection of the most appropriate CMM software program depends on the specific needs and requirements of the manufacturer.

How do I get trained as a CMM programmer?

Here are some steps you can follow to get trained as a CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) Programmer:

  1. Acquire a technical education: You should have a solid foundation in mathematics, engineering, or a related field to understand the technical aspects of CMM programming. A degree or certificate in a related field such as mechanical engineering, metrology, or computer-aided design (CAD) may be beneficial.
  2. Gain experience with CMM equipment: Hands-on experience working with CMMs is important to become a skilled CMM programmer. You can gain this experience by working as an operator or technician at a manufacturing facility that uses CMMs or by participating in an internship or co-op program.
  3. Learn CMM software: Familiarize yourself with the popular CMM software programs, such as PC-DMIS, Metrolog X4, Calypso, Qualisys Track Manager (QTM), and SP25. This can be done through online courses, attending software training sessions, or working with a mentor.
  4. Obtain certifications: Some software companies offer certifications in their products, which can demonstrate your proficiency and make you a more competitive candidate for CMM programming positions.
  5. Stay up-to-date: The field of CMM programming is constantly evolving, with new software and technologies being introduced. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and advancements in the field by attending conferences, workshops, and continuing education courses.

With the combination of technical education, hands-on experience, and software training, you can become a proficient CMM programmer and excel in this field.

What is the mean salary for an experienced CMM Programmer?

The mean salary for an experienced CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) Programmer can vary depending on several factors, including location, industry, and years of experience. On average, in the United States, the salary range for an experienced CMM Programmer is typically between $60,000 and $90,000 per year. However, in some industries and regions, the salary may be higher.

It’s also worth noting that salaries can vary widely based on the specific company and their compensation policies. Additionally, certifications, advanced skills, and experience with multiple software programs can also affect the salary range.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are general estimates and the actual salary for a CMM Programmer will depend on a variety of factors specific to the individual and their situation.