Is there a “probe” censor,feeler or what it may be called that senses an item so that one can copy this item ? I think i have heard that this do exist,and if so where can one buy this,inventables ?
A digitizing probe is very high on my priority list also. In the past, we put a probe into the collet, told the software that it was a 1/8" ball, then touched the prototype part’s perimeter a hundred times to input the data points. Then we told the software to make straight lines or smooth splines to connect the dots. You now have the ability to cut one out.
To expand on this concept, I’d like to be able to take a paper drawing, tell the software that I’ve got a sharp point chucked up and take the data points directly off the blueprint.
I’ve recently purchased some sailboat plans on paper and am going to experiment with digitizing the plans.
Hi Chris and thank you for the reply.
So you can also copy lines from paper ? Interesting,do you know the name of these “probes” and where we can buy them ?
I am affraid they are insanely pricy but hopefully im wrong
Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I had one or that it was working on an X-Carve. What I meant was that when I get mine up and running, one of the first things I’m going to try and figure out is how to digitize prototypes and paper plans.
I think it would be very doable with the understanding that there’s quite a bit of manual labor inputting the data points, then trying to get AutoCAD to make a mathematical representation that captures those points. But once it’s done, you can cut out 1 or 100 of them!
Also, the probe wouldn’t be expensive, basically just a 1/8" ball. The expensive part would be the software that drives it. What would be really cool is if the software could move the probe and sense when it meets the resistance of the side of the prototype, input the data point, then move 1/4" and try it again. Then when it’s gone all the way around the part, it would generate a smooth toolpath. Taking it up another notch would mean it could handle interior cutouts also, which means it would have to move/sense the Z-axis also. Sigh…
Wow that would be a great tool to have,hmmm the search goes on
If you find something that can do this i hope you put some info up here at the forum,thank you
Don’t worry. Not only will I post here how to digitize a prototype/pattern, but there will be a YouTube video of the process! There are also PDF and Inkscape options to explore…
Fantastic looking forward to it
Planet CNC controllers do this. I run Planet NC on my Shapeoko and on the big 21x37x8 ball screw mill I have. Their MK3/4 and MK3 controller boards will both use a probe and the probes run about $100 or so. Make sure you order one with a 1/4" shaft so it will fit the spindle. With this system you can digitize pretty much anything that will fit on the X Carve under the spindle. Their software has the probing function built in and so far I have liked it very much. also allows you to account for flex and fall in your milling surfaces and adjusts the cutter for these as it mills. Their system does need a driver from each axis unlike the TinyG amd such with built in drivers. I use Leadshine DSP drivers on all my systems the difference is night and day over the stock shield. All together the MK3/4 system, DSP drivers and probe does costs a bit of change. but it is one of the best systems out there for this type of work. I have not calibrated my probes since the move a few weeks ago but i plan to do that in a day or two now that the mills are set in their new spots. if you have any questions about the system and how it works on the shapeoko and X Carve just give me a shout. I have nothing to do with them, aside from loving their oproducts after trying the stock shield, a TinyG and now running their MK3 on the big mill and the MK3/4 on the OKO and X Carve. here are some links.
PlanetCNC boards: http://www.planet-cnc.com/index.php?page=hardware
FYI their boards will NOT work with Chilipeppr or Easel. They MUST use their software but it is VERY full featured and far surpasses what an X Carve is able to do.
Hi Travelphotog and thank you so much for this in depth information,just what i was looking for
I will check this out right away
I am totaly new to the cnc world haven even received my x carve yet,but the possibility to copy items is one of the great features i am looking forward to do.
So this was uplifting read
Always glad I can help someone become a power user of their CNC.
Travelphotog may know better, but I don’t believe the hardware would allow the 2d tracing of plans. I think that would require true encoders of some kind, instead of just the stepper motors feeding back to the system. The automated 3d process works just enough different that it does work.
With the Planet CNC system you can jog the system and then capture a point of reference and map those into a 2d or 3d object. A touch probe is needed and it would not be an automated setup. Though you can also setup a camera that looks down next to the spindle and use that to map the 2d points you want. Again, not fast but it would allow you to map the points desired on a 2d set of blueprints. I admit I did misread and think he was speaking of 3d objects also. Sorry for my mistake on that read. Checking the threads between mill jobs will burn you once in a while I guess!
I’m guessing for the price of the set-up for this type of work, you’d be better off either having those plans scanned and converted into vectors (there’s a whole bunch of methods for that). Failing that, scan the plans, load them into the CAD package and trace them - that’ll probably be as accurate as doing it this way.
Here is a nice video showing how to use Sketch up to transform a 2D technical drawing to a full 3D model.