Digital read out

A digital readout (DRO) is a numeric display, usually with an integrated keyboard and some means of numeric representation. Its integral computer reads signals generated by linear encoders or (less frequently) rotary encoders installed to track machine axes, using these measures to keep track of and display to a machine operator the workpiece position (e.g., milling machines), or tool position (lathes, grinders, etc) in space.

DRO providing a three axis display with pitch circle calculator, diameter/radius conversion, absolute and incremental toggle, and inch metric toggle

In machine-shop terminology, the complete Digital Read Out system (consisting of a computer, axis-position encoders, and a numeric display) is referred to by the acronym DRO. Such a system is commonly fitted to machines in today's shops, especially for metal working — lathes, cylindrical grinders, milling machines, surface grinders, boring mills and other machine tools — to allow the operator to work faster and with greater accuracy. Use of DROs is not limited to manually operated machines. CNC machines can usually be switched to manual operation, and in this case a form of DRO is simulated on its control panel.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Digital read out, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.