When I take a photograph, we're attaching the template to a wall at its centre of the panel, then keeping it square with the spirit level. The camera is set up on a tripod and the centre of the lens is the same height as the centre of the template. I then move the tripod with camera backwards or forwards on the centre line to get the image full frame, not using the zoom. I then adjust it to get a good contrast between the wall and the template in Photoshop.
I then import it into VCarve. I've used the trace function, but being plywood the outline didn't come out all that well (jagged). I now zoom in and draw round the shape with a Wacom tablet and pen. Having measured the maximum x and y values, I then scale my vector shape up to them measurements and create the toolpath. When cut, the shape is always about 1mm to 2mm out and not dead on.
I need them to be spot on because otherwise I will have to re-cut a corner or shave an edge which then takes time and we did buy the machine so we didn't have to cut them by hand, saving time. We then intend to nest them cutting down on waste as well.
BUT I don't see the problem here.? Get your basic shape imported then tweak the error out in CAD. It's a one time deal after that intial first import and tweak you have perfect templates.
You don't need to waste material for the intial test just put felt tip pencil in the spindle and draw out the shape and compare against your original template. You see the error and it takes 5mins to correct and away you go perfect parts every time.!!
As I said on the vectric site, easy enough with a good photo, I've recently done a front window for an airport bus from 6mm acrylic because they couldn't get hold of a glass panel for several weeks.
Both front windows were same so used the one that wasn't broken, masking taped round the edge to give me good contrast, took photo, imported photo into software, drew round the edge to give my shape (don't generally use an auto trace) & plotted the shape to a large bit of paper. Cut out the shape & compared to original window, was a bit out in one or to places so noted where & made alterations to nodes. Plotted & cut out again but was still a little out on one edge so repeated the procedure & third template was spot on.
Your panels aren't fitted to the vehicle so you could draw on new stock with pen as Jazz has said.
What about fitting a probe on the machine and measuring only the critical points? Wouldn't be easier for you?
I'd like to thank everybody for their contribution to my problem. I've drawn round the shapes in VCarve, turned the CNC machine into a plotter and made my adjustments with the node editing, then cut them out. Up to now everything seems OK.
So thanks again. But I warn you, I will most probably be back with a new set of problems in the near future.
FYI and for the sake of knowledge :-) , good for small business and fast turnover.
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