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ThreadTech v. 2.20
by Thread Check Inc.

System requirements: IBM-compatible PC; Windows 95, 98 or NT; 10 MB of free disk space.

Price: $350

Contact: Thread Check Inc.
390 Oser Ave.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Telephone: (516) 231-1515
Fax: (516) 231-1625

Thread Disk v.
by Gagemaker Inc.

System requirements: IBM-compatible PC; Windows 95, 98 or NT; 8 MB RAM; 3 MB hard disk space.

Price: $375

Contact: Gagemaker Inc.
P.O. Box 87709
Houston, TX 77287-7709
Telephone: (713) 472-7360
Fax: (713) 472-7241

Thread-Dimensioning Software
ThreadTech and Thread Disk

reviews by Craig Howell

ThreadTech and Thread Disk are invaluable tools to assist in the engineering, manufacturing, inspection and service of threaded devices. These programs can do everything from producing raw thread data to substituting different wire sizes for measuring pitch diameters. Tasks that once required in-depth calculations using data from a variety of tables can now be performed in a few mouse clicks.

 One of my favorite uses for thread software is the instant calculation of new wire measurements when substituting a different wire size from the one suggested. This is quite common when metric threads must be measured and only inch wires are available, or vice versa. This feature could also be used where only a few sizes of thread wires are available. If kept close to the suggested "best size" wire, substitutions can be made--both programs immediately tell you if the wire size is out of range--and the programs will display the corrected measurement data.

 The programs differ in look and feel, but both provide excellent information. Checking one program against the other by calculating thread constants verifies that their dimensions agree very closely.

 ThreadTech, developed by Osborn Products and distributed by Thread Check Inc., gives users details about all measured thread features. ThreadTech's strength lies in its features, not in its interface (it's keyboard-driven, not mouse-driven). It contains very accurate, up-to-date specifications, including current changes within the thread industry. For example, it offers users the choice of using Vogel or Buckingham formulas for figuring certain threads. All formulas and rounding-off techniques follow the latest ANSI and government specifications. Especially helpful is that the program allows users to specify plating (if used) and includes the dimensional allowance.

 Other types of available threads with which this program can be used are metric and unified inch 60-degree threads (parts, gages, taps), buttress threads (parts and gages), pipe threads (parts and gages), British pipe threads (parts), worm threads, and ISO metric trapezoidal threads. Thread Tech also covers standard threaded inserts and tap dimensions in both U.S. and metric units.

 The printout details the thread specifications, showing all of the information in both U.S. and metric units. The constant, which is used in calculating measurements made over thread wires, is given and can be used when calculating the sizes of other threads with the same pitch using this set of wires. This eliminates the need to run the program each time a new diameter is to be measured. Additionally, ThreadTech offers the option of specifying multiple start threads.

 The program is very straightforward and easily learned. I encountered some frustration when I typed in incorrect information and wasn't able to go back one step; the only option, when the menu-driven program allows it, is to hit "X" to exit the calculation and start over.

 Thread Disk is a full 32-bit program that runs in Windows and Windows NT. The program features pull-down menus, a comprehensive help program and full Web support. Thread Disk calculates standard and nonstandard thread sizes, addressing diameters from #000 to 99.8 in. and pitch sizes from 1 to 80.

 The thread types covered in Thread Disk are UN, UNR, UNJ; Acme; M and MJ metric series; and 7 x 45 buttress threads. STI (standard threaded insert) threads or gages aren't included.

 The program uses screens that resemble those of Excel, with rows, columns and tabs at the bottom. Once the basic information (style, size and pitch) has been entered, you can click from tab to tab for specific details on all aspects of each thread. There's no need to reenter the information for each application. For example, a calibration lab could call up the specifications for recertifying a thread set plug to be used on a set of go/no-go thread ring gages that will inspect a machined product thread; one computer entry and calculation would provide all the data needed for the different uses of that thread size.

 Working with the program was easy and problem-free. Thread Disk excels in the areas of substituting new pitch diameter values or thread wires and calculating the changes. Thread wire constants are not directly shown, but can be manually calculated by subtracting the measurement over wires from the nominal pitch diameter. Overall, Thread Disk is well-laid-out, very user-friendly and easy to navigate. If your programs do not require STI thread information or multiple start threads, which Thread Disk doesn't address, this software package offers value-packed features that you'll use constantly.

About the author

 Craig S. Howell is the owner of CPM Labs, a full-service calibration and ultra-precision measuring lab located in Rancho Cordova, California. Fax him at (916) 635-4434.

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