What software is recommended to run the Touch Probe?
STEPCRAFT customers can use UCCNC for the Touch Probe. We have a special screenset and macros to control it for various functions (DOWNLOAD HERE). For 3D object scanning with the Touch Probe, you will need a CAD/CAM program like Vectric Cut2D or VCarve to be able to draw a box and create a simple tool path for the scanning area. Once a point cloud file is created, you can download Meshlab (www.meshlab.net) for free, which will convert the point cloud file into a STL 3D file that you can CNC machine.
Non-STEPCRAFT customers will need to setup a macro for their machine control software to allow it to work. You would need to reference your software’s manufacturer to obtain information on this.
The videos below will give you much more information the setup and use of the STEPCRAFT TOUCH PROBE
How do I save/find my digitized 3D Touch Probe file?
If you are having trouble saving or finding your digitized file after scanning with the 3D touch probe, you may have to force Windows to save the file as a .txt file. To do this, either initially after the scan or after opening the file, save as and type your file name, followed by .txt and enclosed in quotes. For example…
This will force windows to save the file as a .txt, which can be easily recognized and opened.
Can I use a 3D scanner to create 3D models to carve as well as 3D print?
Yes, models created with a 3D Scanner are typically saved in common 3D formats like a .stl. These files can be imported into CAM programs like Vectric Cut 3D, Vectric V Carve and Deskproto where they can be assigned tool paths to carve the object out of a material. This is commonly done with two tool paths: Roughing and Finishing, using a standard end mill and a ball nose end mill, respectively.
These files created from a 3D scanner can also be used for a 3D printer.
Here is a good article with a list of the best 3D scanners for 2017: https://pinshape.com/blog/the-11-best-3d-scanners-on-the-market/
STEPCRAFT also has a 3D Touch Probe which can be used for 3D scanning. The following videos show how that works:
Can I buy the STEPCRAFT Touch Probe for use with a non-STEPCRAFT CNC machine?
Yes, you can purchase the Touch Probe and it will most likely work with just about any CNC. However, you be responsible for the correct software setup, macros and configuration for your system. STEPCRAFT will NOT support the operation or configuration of the Touch Probe for non-STEPCRAFT machines. The unit will, however, be warranted for mechanical defects.