The project addresses a CAD-CAM issue in the field of furniture manufacturing, but its results can be exploited in different fields where the design and the manufacturing start from a handcrafted prototype (real size or downscaled) or an older similar product.
Different solutions have been investigated in order to solve the problem: laser scanners, ultrasound mapping and trackers. The optimal solution has been found in developing an ad hoc tracker (that can be optionally endowed with laser sensors).
CAFMA project developed and tested of an innovative desktop mechanical digitizer. This digitizer provides an easy-to-use and cost effective tracker for capturing parts to speed up and improve the accuracy of the work process. A software for this device has also been developed in order to interface the tracker with a CAD software.
As results a flexible and affordable solution for many manufacturing, reverse engineering, model making and arts applications has been manufactured and released. A tracker with 3 DoFs integrating magnetic rotary sensors has been built as demonstrator and a further 5 DoFs tracker has been designed. The tracker tip is endowed with an interchangeable probe. Tracing over the contours of a physical object, a complex 3D data set will be built in few minutes, and the set will be converted and imported in a CAD software (Solid Edge). When needed, the CAD will then provide the CAM code for manufacturing with industrial CNC machinery.