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  1. #1

    JPG / MeshCAM

    So new I have nothing but questions however knowledge is starting to create questions of substance ..sort of ...
    My hobby is building wood grips for old west Six-Guns for competition shooters
    Arthritis is ravaging my hands so I am searching out CNC router to do grunt work of reducing a .500"X4.5"X3" block of wood to a nearly finished 1/2 of a pair of grips ..from there do final fit/finish
    I see MeshCAM can work with JPG ..is that the same as JPEG as in a digitized picture ..or is JPG a format that CAD programs issue ???
    Can MeshCAM do anything with a JPEG photo?? ...PLEASE say yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks

    Bear

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    4878

    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    I believe it can generate a heightfield mesh from a JPG; that's where it analyzes a grayscale image, placing points on a vertical scale that (usually) sends dark pixels low and light ones high. Then it constructs a mesh that connects the dots and a program that will carve the mesh. This would typically be used to create low-relief decorative effects on the surface of a form, rather than the form itself. So if you wanted, say, rattlesnake scales on your grips instead of the normal checkering, it could do that, using a high-def photo of the snakeskin. But you wouldn't use it to construct the grips themselves; you'd use CAD software for that.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3

    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    I believe it can generate a heightfield mesh from a JPG; that's where it analyzes a grayscale image, placing points on a vertical scale that (usually) sends dark pixels low and light ones high. Then it constructs a mesh that connects the dots and a program that will carve the mesh. This would typically be used to create low-relief decorative effects on the surface of a form, rather than the form itself. So if you wanted, say, rattlesnake scales on your grips instead of the normal checkering, it could do that, using a high-def photo of the snakeskin. But you wouldn't use it to construct the grips themselves; you'd use CAD software for that.
    Thanks awerby
    As I say I'm really new ..so I am far behind the curve of knowledge ..not even knowing which machine (small for sure) I will settle on ..but the education to this point is saying spindle not router ..full screw on XYZ ..with a lot more questions ..like start lesser machine wise to learn then step up ..so CAD program may or may not be tied to the first machine ..just thinking as a newbie that the more factory support with my limited knowledge that the CAD tied to the machine of choice might ease the start up process ..though I don't see the CAD stuff particularly tied to any one certain CAD but more in which/what type file the CAD can issue ..then that gets the question of which CAD and it's capability I actually need... 2D, 2.5D or 3D as at this point I am not sure where each of these levels stop or start with in building a wood grip with curves,straights, angles a variable thickness

    Bear

  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    I see MeshCAM can work with JPG ..is that the same as JPEG as in a digitized picture ..or is JPG a format that CAD programs issue ???
    Can MeshCAM do anything with a JPEG photo?? ...PLEASE say yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes, but jpg (or other images) won't really do what you want.
    You really want to create 3D CAD models of your grips. With a good model, the machine will do 99% of the work for you.
    If this is a hobby, download Fusion 360, and sign up for a free hobby license.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5

    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    I believe it can generate a heightfield mesh from a JPG; that's where it analyzes a grayscale image, placing points on a vertical scale that (usually) sends dark pixels low and light ones high. Then it constructs a mesh that connects the dots and a program that will carve the mesh. This would typically be used to create low-relief decorative effects on the surface of a form, rather than the form itself. So if you wanted, say, rattlesnake scales on your grips instead of the normal checkering, it could do that, using a high-def photo of the snakeskin. But you wouldn't use it to construct the grips themselves; you'd use CAD software for that.
    Thanks awerby
    As I say I'm really new ..so I am far behind the curve of knowledge ..not even knowing which machine (small for sure) I will settle on ..but the education to this point is saying spindle not router ..full screw on XYZ ..with a lot more questions ..like start lesser machine wise to learn then step up ..so CAD program may or may not be tied to the first machine ..just thinking as a newbie that the more factory support with my limited knowledge that the CAD tied to the machine of choice might ease the start up process ..though I don't see the CAD stuff particularly tied to any one certain CAD but more in which/what type file the CAD can issue ..then that gets the question of which CAD and it's capability I actually need... 2D, 2.5D or 3D as at this point I am not sure where each of these levels stop or start with in building a wood grip with curves,straights, angles a variable thickness

    Bear

  6. #6

    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    Yes, but jpg (or other images) won't really do what you want.
    You really want to create 3D CAD models of your grips. With a good model, the machine will do 99% of the work for you.
    If this is a hobby, download Fusion 360, and sign up for a free hobby license.
    Thanks ger21
    It is hobby but I do sell some also.. so I'll not sail under a false flag ..so that begs the question of a free or low cost 3D CAD ..even the "start-up" is $500 per year ..I cannot afford that

    Bear

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
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    4878

    Re: JPG / MeshCAM

    To make normal pistol grips with curved surfaces, you'd need a 3D program. 2D would just get you a cutout of the shape, and 2,5D would give you the cutout with "stairsteps" on the surface.

    If you're looking for a simple but powerful 3D CAD program, take a look at MOI (Moment of Inspiration). Written by the original author of Rhino, it's like a stripped-down version at a much lower price ($265 if you get it from us) and you don't have to pay it every year...
    Andrew Werby
    Website

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