Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: revwarguy on May 04, 2009, 01:19:20 PM

Title: Scan to cut part
Post by: revwarguy on May 04, 2009, 01:19:20 PM
Hello all,

I am just completing a router table, and just purchased Mach3 and Cambam, so I although I am no stranger to software, I am a real newbie at CAM, so be gentle.   ::)

My need is to scan a piece of paper or cardboard of contrasting color with the background that is cut out in the exact dimension of the part to made - a template.  I then need to cut out a part (from 1/4 inch plywood or 1/8 inch plastic, etc.) that matches the outline of the template.

I have many of these to do, so a simple procedure is important.

I have tried many options, including massaging the scan with both Photoshop and Illustrator to get a .dxf, but that is problematic because I have to go to a friends house since I don't own that pricey software.

I was hoping that Lazycam might help here, but I can't seem to get it to do anything useful, probably due to my unfamiliarity with it and the lack of documentation.  Not putting it down, its just that its early for that.

Could someone please outline the steps involved to be able to do such a thing? If some other software is needed, could you recommend something you've used to do this?

I know this may seem elementary to some, but I don't seem to be able to find the right direction to go.


Title: Re: Scan to cut part
Post by: RICH on May 04, 2009, 07:18:36 PM
I am not that familar with CAMBAM / olny tried the free version once.

There are a number of ways to do what you want.

You can take a picture of the part or scan the template,  and then bring the picture into a CAD program and draw
over the picture, export it as a DXF, and then iuse the imported  DXF using CAMBAM, LAZYCAM or some other program to generate the gcode.

You may want to consider using COPYCAT as that is idealy suited for that kind of stuff. You use a web camera and follow the outline of the piece ( no need to make a pattern ) and while you are doing that it generates the gcode for posting right into MACH. It can be done very quickly. More quickly than what the other option above.

Both can  be more accurate than the tollerance you will hold on wood.
Title: Re: Scan to cut part
Post by: RICH on May 04, 2009, 07:23:08 PM
You really don't need to use a camera to use COPYCAT, since you can just put a pointed object in the chuck and use it as a pointer. Accuracy will fall off though. There is a manual for Copycat in the Members Doc section.