Manual welding skills are learned through demonstration and practice. Typically an instructor will demonstrate correct welding technique for a particular process, and then the students will practice the same task within welding booths. The key skill that is taught in practical welding education is visual analysis of the puddle behavior, but the small scale, dynamic movement and hazards of welding make it difficult for more than a handful of students to observe details in the melt zone (e.g. arc shape, weld puddle behavior, wire placement) during demonstrations.
There is a need for camera system suitable for practical welding education that conveniently provides magnified views of the melt puddle behavior during both instructor’s demonstration (to teach a greater number of students to more effectively read the arc and weld puddles), and during student practice (to highlight and drive home the instructor’s observations and feedback). Ideally such a system would be both unobtrusive and flexible so that the variety of viewpoints that a welder takes during different welding tasks could be easily mimicked with the camera.
The MeltView APEX2 is our welding education camera system that provides clear, in-focus, magnified views of the weld zone during both demonstration and student practice. Because the small APEX2 camera mounts flexibly to the MIG or TIG welding torch, it’s possible to show and record circumferential welds, 3G welds, long welds, and more, from an angle that most closely resembles the manual welder’s point of view.
Every APEX2 camera comes with a laptop with our MeltView LUCI software ready to go. LUCI makes it easy to record and annotate video files. The user can also optimize the welding and non-welding images via preset modes or individual parameter adjustments. Other software features include digital zoom, timestamp, frame-by-frame playback, background enhance mode and adjustable crosshair overlay.
Why Choose a Welding Camera?
- 90% of welding skill is visually based. Virtual reality trainers can’t teach this critical skill.
- Instructors can engage students and demonstrate welding to more students, more effectively.
- Student understanding is greatly enhanced by a magnified image of the weld, both of the instructor’s welds and their own welds.
- Create video libraries for e-learning resources that attract and aid students.
- Document student progress and results in a unique way that enables students to advance and enter employment faster.
- Increase qualification testing success.
MeltView Apex2 Advantage
- Our unique torch-mounted camera system can mimic the welder’s viewpoint.
- Once the camera is mounted to the torch in the desired position, the image stays in focus as long as you weld.
- The APEX2 can be mounted to different torches at different angles, or mounted to the welding bench for a fixed area view.
- Our LUCI software for viewing and recording comes preinstalled on a laptop with every APEX2 camera.
MeltView Apex2 FAQs
Is the camera too heavy to mount to the torch?
No, it’s not. Our customers report that the APEX2 is surprisingly light. The APEX2 plus flexible mount weighs a few hundred grams, which is negligible compared to the weight and drag of a typical welding torch and cables. It takes a few trys to get used to having a camera on the torch, but the view it provides is well worth it. Please experiment with the torch mount even if you intend to primarily use the bench mount. Customers also report that the small size and low weight of the APEX2 make it possible for them to mount it more creatively, for instance on a gantry or a swing arm and easily position the camera for an optimal view.
The APEX2 image is in black and white. Isn’t a color image better for teaching GTAW?
Again our customers report that a clear, magnified image is what’s critical for teaching, not necessarily a color image. The high resolution video and the optical clarity of the APEX2 are unmatched by other welding cameras, and these features are what enable students to comprehend weld puddle dynamics.
Does the APEX2 have autofocus?
No, the APEX2 has a huge depth of field, about 10 inches, which makes it quick to position the camera so that it is in focus. Autofocus has three main disadvantages: bulk, lag, and the tendency of motorized lenses to break. We decided to make the camera as small as possible, eliminate moving parts, and virtually eliminate the need to focus.
Why is a welding camera so expensive?
While cameras are everywhere nowadays, they are not designed for imaging the very bright welding arc. In fact,only a few cameras can do this, and MeltTools offers the most affordable and most well-designed camera for welding education of any on the market. Every MeltView welding camera is designed and built and supported from our facility in Michigan.
How long does it take to set up?
You can be making videos in 30 minutes! Mount the LED to the bench and power up. Mount the camera along side the LED in the bench mount, OR to the torch, and plug the camera cable into the provided laptop. Share the laptop screen with a large format monitor (i.e. HDMI monitor) if desired. Check that the camera is in focus using a printed sheet or our target guide, and start welding!
What can I see with the APEX2 camera?
Our customers have visualized all of the following: Melt-in at the leading edge of the puddle; melt-in on the sides of the puddle; solidification of the rear of the weld puddle; effect of parameter changes, electrode position and traverse speed on weld puddle behavior and dimensions; generation of various weld defects; torch manipulation techniques.