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george

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Message 1 of 21

 stl
17-04-2006 10:44 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Does anyone have expirence with machining stls as parts from something like scan data from a laser?

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randy

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Message 2 of 21

24-04-2006 09:02 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Dear John,

What are you interested in doing? I have worked with some customers on stl scan projects. I would gladly help you out however I can.

Regards,

Randy Biebel
VX Corporation


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george

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Message 3 of 21

25-04-2006 07:08 . am   |   View his/her posts only
I have an stl of scan data, in are lugs that were created in VX cad. I am having problems getting this to machine, It will only recognize the cad created plugs not the stl of the die.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 4 of 21

25-04-2006 09:12 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi George

Try exporting the VX data as STL, then bring that STL data into the same VX Part Object as your STL scan data - i.e., the data is all of the same type.

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Robert

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Message 5 of 21

28-04-2006 05:30 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Nah, Chris... there's a geniune problem when you mix STL with VX geometry (surfaces, solids or wireframe) and try to use QuickMill.

Quickmill ignores the STL data.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 6 of 21

29-04-2006 06:40 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Bob

That is true, which is why I suggested reducing all of the data to STL.

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george

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Message 7 of 21

01-05-2006 01:49 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I tried that and still had no luck

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 8 of 21

01-05-2006 05:48 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hello again George

So, I think the STL bodies are intersecting in various places? QuickMill can handle a single STL body, but it sounds like we are making the target too complicated. Have you checked that QM will accept the original STL data on it's own? If it can, then we can explore the "all STL bodies" option some more. VX CAD has some tools that allow basic manipulation (See the Point Cloud tab in CAD). The aim would be to "knife and fork" the data to become a single STL body. It may be that the whole is too complex for this, but if QM can work with your orginal STL, I would like to take a quick look at all of your data to see if there is a reasonable solution to be had.

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Kevin

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Message 9 of 21

04-05-2006 07:07 . am   |   View his/her posts only
I'm not a CAM expert but we used to use a little app over 10 years ago called Maquette Volume. This was designed to machine from STL data. You could design the models (in those days it was FormZ) as multiple bodies, export to stl and import the multiple bodies into Maquette. What it did was machine to the first surface it contacted (hence you could use as many bodies as was needed). We later moved onto a "proper" CAM systems but productivity plummetted as we had to model everything as a single body.

Perhaps as STL is becoming more important a CAM format again this functionality could be added to VX?

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 10 of 21

04-05-2006 07:53 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Kevin

VX has had this technology for some time now, QuickMill can machine imported STL Objects. However, with complex shapes it is difficult to define a single body from a group of bodies, which essentially seems to be the problem that George has. Except for very primative shapes, STL does not describe faces as one, they are defined as thousands of tiny triangular faces. When you have several bodies like this, the challenge is finding the intersection of the bodies and determining what exactly is the outside of the volume. All that plus engineering accuracy and efficient machining startegy to be maintained!

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george

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Message 11 of 21

04-05-2006 11:36 . am   |   View his/her posts only
What we were trying to do was reverse engineer a forging die that was scanned using a Faro Arm and using Polyworks, made an stl, brought it into VX and tried to put tool paths on it. This data is not easy to work with. I can't get stl data to merge, when you try it it will dissapear on you. We would like to have a easy way of doing this because we have alot of old plaster models that were originally traced with a Hydro-tel mill. So accuacy is somewhat of an issue but it would still be better that the old way and faster.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 12 of 21

04-05-2006 11:45 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi George

Am I right in assuming that you are able to use QuickMill on the original STL? i.e., the problem is to do with adding further geometry for machining, or are you saying that you cannot even use the original?

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george

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Message 13 of 21

04-05-2006 12:03 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I can make it work. It will not merge so it makes the cam plan difficult to work with.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 14 of 21

04-05-2006 08:51 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi George

By "merge", the penny has just dropped - you mean you can't merge the STL triangular faces into one face? True. It may be possible to "throw" a surface over an area of the STL, but you would end up with too much work to do on most occasions, so using QM to produce ops on the STL directly is the best approach.

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george

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Message 15 of 21

05-05-2006 07:11 . am   |   View his/her posts only
I get a cad model and insert it into a part, merge, move to position and add boundries ect. With an stl when I insert it into a part it is gone. So I have to have the cad guys have everything into position, then I have to insert that cad directly into the cam plan. I have noticed that it takes longer to calc. too.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 16 of 21

05-05-2006 07:40 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi George

Clearly your CAD guys know something that you do not when it comes to handling STL in a VX Part Object. STL data is huge because of the triangle meshing so I would expect CAM calcs to take longer. You need to weigh-up all the pros and cons to decide which is the best route for the entire project. What happened about combining other geometry with your imported STL? Where you able to resolve this?

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george

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Message 17 of 21

05-05-2006 08:00 . am   |   View his/her posts only
We had to seperate them into two different parts, then select them both as features for each operation in the cam plan.

What do you mean by "Clearly your CAD guys know something that you do not when it comes to handling STL in a VX Part Object"?

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Robert

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Message 18 of 21

10-05-2006 08:53 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Go easy on him, George... English is a second language for Welshmen

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 19 of 21

11-05-2006 12:40 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hello George

Please forgive me, just a leg-pull there because you did say that you had to get your CAD guys to position the geom for you I'm more CAD than CAM (and 100% English, my mother lives next door to HRH).

Your original description of the problems was brief, we did not understand what it was that you were trying to acheive. It's good to hear that you have found a way to get the work done. Now, a lot of the agony is about how the data is collected. With the Faro Arm, you can digitise key points and build a model (or surfaces) from them in VX CAD (....or the CAD Guys can!). This might prove to be a good alternative to a laser scan, which collects a dense "cloud" of points, especially if the source (plaster models) lacks accuracy. The advantage would be the ability to modify the model once it is in VX.

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george

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Message 20 of 21

11-05-2006 06:30 . am   |   View his/her posts only
The reason I had the cad guys do it is because I do not want to move around their models because that is the main cad file. That is why we insert components of the cad file, merge, move the geometry where it is needed and add boundries.

Do you know if VX has plans to work with Faro?

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 21 of 21

11-05-2006 08:29 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi George

I don't know if the team in Florida plan to include Faro in the future (Roma Cimcore and Microscribe arms are supported). Faro have a very broad range of devices. However, many of the Faro devices are driven by software that, as a minimum, can save point XYZ values to a plain text file. VX can read these files in instantly. What is interesting is that you can have VX apply an un-trimmed surface to the points automatically on import. The software of some of the Faro devices allows you to save sets of points (say, just the points that describe one face) to individual XYZ files. So, that combination might be worth investigating.
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