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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Need a low tech solution to a high tech problem (kind of urgent)

    I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction if I am heading the wrong way....

    I need to trace an object (lets say it's the size and shape of a gun). Normally I would use a thin pencil to trace the object as precisely as possible. Maybe it's thee age or my eyes are going bad but I am not able to get the precision that I used to be able to.

    I am looking for a solution similar to a reaction arm. but instead of a screwdriver at the end I would have some kind of an attachment for a pen or pencil and the reaction arm would keep that tracing material perfectly vertical thus giving me a precise and accurate trace of the object (as described above).

    There is an example of the type of reaction arm I am referring to (if my pic doesn't show). It's the center arm of the three pictured.

    Kolver srl Electric screwdrivers and assembly solutions - Products detail

    Thank you in advance for anyone's help and advice.

    Pelican Tactical Products
    Custom Foam Inserts for Weapons Cases

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    1. What/how are you going to use the tracing?
    2. Are you tracing directly onto foam or paper/plastic sheet as a template to use over and over?
    3. Is your end goal to perform automated cutting of the pattern?
    4. Is your cutting method via hot wire, laser or kitchen knife?
    I am going to make an assumption that you want to automate the cutting process. If so you could simply take a photo with a good contrast background save it as a jpeg and scale it to size. You may want to put a ruler in the image to aid the scaling. Many (Irfanview, Image Magic) image editing software have an edge detection function to get the outlines you want. Then you could use a co2 laser to cut the goods. Once the image is sized and saved it can be reproduced as many times as you want. Another way you could do it is to use a CNC hot wire to cut the foam but this may require some manual steps to poke the wire at a starting point so you can get a clean centered cutout. Another way more expensive way is to use a digitizing arm such as faro to obtain a digital (.dfx or other) file that maps the outline and or contours you want. This is just food for thought.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I"ve been using a digitzer board from The Logic Group, called the Logic Trace.

    It looks like a white board for dry erase but, it's a table and has sensors that pick up points from a stylus or a mouse and records them for use as a DXF. I then import the files into solidworks to make templates for my Zund cutting machine. I then cut carbon fiber for aerospace parts. It's kind of a strange device and not the most advanced piece of equipment but seems to work fairly well and definitely creates templates fairly quickly. Since it's a board it is a 2d solution, perfect for composite cutting. I think they have various sizes, mine is very large 52"x79" and was a few grand.

    sorta off topic, but I have had the privilege of touring your facility with my classes. A very well run operation and you guys make some great products.

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