The Latest Addition to the Shop

Copyright 2009 by James P. Riser

In order to be able to rapid prototype several new items on the drawing board, I recently picked up a Roland Modela MDX-20 3D plotter/scanner.


Here it is as delivered by UPS.


It was very well packed to avoid any possible shipping damage.


I originally hooked it up to an old PC running WindowsME. This old computer is way too slow to handle the data.

It is now hooked up to a Windows laptop running Vista - a big improvement! Files now load and process quickly.

I've got the scanning process mastered now and will move on to the milling process in the next week or so.

Below are a couple pictures showing the probe as scanning is being done:

Scanning a coin to determine detail of the possible scans.


The scanner will scan down to .002" which will capture much of the detail that I want to preserve.

The company owned by the previous owner made these custom milling/clamping tables. This makes clamping objects to be scanned or milled similar to clamping on a large milling machine.


Notice the many holes in the table for the clamps.


Here is a view of the overall setup for scanning.


Shown below are a couple grayscale images of the coin scan:


Not too shabby!


And an enlargement of the detail.

More to come as I experiment with the cutting/milling function.

OK, here is the first test project...

This is the original object to be scanned ... a Hydesvice Skull Pin


The pin is mounted on clay for scanning


The resulting scan...


A tool path for the roughing cuts was next created


Rough cutting the plexiglass


This is the result of the rough cuts.


A tool path for the finishing cut was made.


Below are various resolution images of the final cutting.


This is a close-up of the test prototype milling.

I will be able to improve the cut line size in the final product with a more appropriate size of milling cutter; but this is not too bad for a software/hardware learning attempt. Since I did not have a small enough ball milling cutter, much of the detail shown in the scans above was lost. I need to order an assortment of smaller cutters.

At least everything works and I am learning the software.

Click here to see page 2 and the creation of the Vampire Casting Master Model