This article explains how to digitize a surface using a CNC mill, effectively turning it into a 3D scanner.
This lesson progresses through the basic steps required for digitizing a part on the Tormach PCNC 770. CNC Digitizing is a process using a tool probe and a CNC mill to reverse engineer physical parts into 3D CAD software models. There are two discrete steps to the process:
Point Cloud Generation. Here, the touch probe is used to record a data set of discrete XYZ points. The number of points collect (density of the point cloud) ultimately determines the fidelity of the model. Mach3, the CNC control software for the PCNC 770, has a digitizing wizard to easily gather coordinate data from the desired part and makes this step relatively straightforward.
Surface Creation. Using CAD software tools, the collected points in the data set are turned into a solid surface. This is sometimes called “skinning”. This can be done with a number of CAD tools available in the market today. In this demo, we use a popular open-source software suite called Blender.