Design and construction of a low cost rapid reverse engineering tool for 3d objects.
Karugaba, Ivan Junior
MetadataShow full item record
The use of Numerically Controlled machines has become widely popular but many drawbacks come along with the entire process. The whole process of obtaining the correct CAD models of parts to finally getting the correct files (code) to run the machines is time consuming, requires specially skilled people and is prone to human errors. In this report, it is clearly demonstrated how the entire process can be seamlessly automated to ease up the use of these machines focusing on automation of the Computer Aided design process, CNC programming process and other few enabling technologies. A low cost system has been designed to enable the less skilled take part in manufacturing. The system(machine) is comprised of laser scanning module, actuator system(stepper motor), frame and other algorithms, source code and software environments that enable the reverse engineering of objects with little technical knowledge and experience in CNC machine operation. The input to the machine is any solid object and the output is Numerical code ready to be fed to an industrial 3-axis CNC milling machine. The procedures used for fabrication and construction of the prototype of the low cost rapid reverse engineering tool are discussed in detail. It transfers the design in theory into real life practical design. A prototype is constructed and tested with a sample object to determine whether the theoretical design complies with the practical design. Testing is done with a small object to find out how accurately the process is automated and the result is a machine ready file with an extension .gnc that can be directly fed into any 3-axis CNC machine to replicate the object. Basing on the results, the author would highly recommend the use of this technology in design of prosthetics, reverse engineering of weapons and preservation of antiques through creation of replicas.