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Author Topic: Line Tracing using Mach 4  (Read 2434 times)

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Offline Pedio

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Line Tracing using Mach 4
« on: August 26, 2016, 05:41:01 PM »
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about how to do line tracing using a web microscope on a CNC and using Mach 4?

We do large patterns using a pencil to mark the edges and the transfer it to Mach 4 by touching points with a fine bit and recording the points. It would be much easier if M4 could trace the image. Almost like a probe but with a camera.

I know we can take a picture of the diagram and put it into M4 but we run into a problem with parallax angles.

Thoughts?

Offline DazTheGas

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Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 06:07:56 PM »
Take a look at artCam, im sure if you can get a decent pic then it will trace it for you then spit out the gcode there are plenty of youtube videos on this.

DazTheGas
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Offline Pedio

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Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 09:17:59 AM »
I have a copy of V-carve Pro that does a great job of tracing an image. The problem I have is getting the appropriate image into the computer. The image tends to get smaller the farther from the center of the image. It would be nice if I could use the CNC table to scan in the images it does not affect as much. It is the big ones that have problems.

I was hoping someone would have an idea about using Mach4 and a webcam to trace an image. I know lots of science competitions are formulated around line tracing robots. I was wondering if this technique could be used with a webcam.

Also, Tormach has a stitching program that puts together multiple images from a webcam to scan in a part. It is pretty neat but not quite what I was looking for.

Thoughts
Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 12:57:36 PM »
another thing is that scanners are not very large. scanning a 4ftx8ft drawing would be interesting. I'm sure they make scanners that large, but they would be cost prohibitive for a hobbyist. Another thing is that, the item would now be in vector format.

Offline Pedio

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Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 03:34:41 PM »
I agree with all of the above. We take templates of counter tops, boat decks, shower floors, etc. We can then make them out of Corian and engrave them with designs. To make it smooth again we fill the design with a graphite impregnated epoxy and sand it down. If there was some type of way to line trace and get a vector out of the machine it would save us a LOT of time.

I have tried a 'stitching' program that puts pictures together. It works ok. It would be much nicer if we could pin the template to the table, show the machine a line to follow, give it a direction to follow, and then hit probe (scan). This could be a differeniator for Mach 4.

I love the flexibility of Mach 4 and if any program can do it then it is probably a Mach 4 based one.
Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 04:25:58 PM »
at a guess, something like this would have to be a plugin. have a look at scanything from SheetCam. This looks like it does exactly what you want, but with Mach3 not Mach4
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 04:41:02 PM by cd_edwards »

Offline Pedio

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Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2016, 09:22:40 PM »
Exactly what I would like. I wonder if they have plans for Mach 4!

Offline Pedio

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Re: Line Tracing using Mach 4
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 08:59:47 AM »
I sent a not to Les at SheetCam asking if scanything would be supported for Mach 4. I recieved the following response:

Scanything only works reliably with Mach3 when you are using the parallel port. External controllers have too much latency to work well. Mach4 is mostly sold with an external controller so I haven't added support for Mach4.

Thoughts?