3D Digital Duplicator

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3D Digital Duplicator

Post by GrandpaB »

I am considering buying NWA's 3D Digital Duplicator. Has anyone tried it and how does it work? I'm looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks for your help

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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:24 am

Re: 3D Digital Duplicator

Post by Jacduck »

Need to read the answer to this question, another place said that it was a problem child and was being worked on around the same time as this post. Has it been fixed or is this a waste of time and money?
John C up in MI aka jacduck before the internet

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, USA

Re: 3D Digital Duplicator

Post by Grt520 »

I purchased the 3D digital duplicator and it was a total dissappointment. I also have a Small Carvewright with a duplicating probe. I am reproducing the carvings in a dresser and needed this to work on my new HD4-Extended. The probe does work, however it is very slow and the ruby tip spring pressure is so great that it dents the surface of the wood every place that it touches. I offerred to work with NextWave engineering to improve the operation and performance of this probe and they totally refused. On my first scan the probe bent and became unusable, I returned it for a replacement which they did after much discussion, with them telling me that I had set the probe speed too fast, that it was all my fault. The probe had two defects, one was in the cable on the plug end and the other was that it failed to break contact when the prob deflected in one direction. That would tell the controller to keep diving down which eventually bent the probe and damaged the piece I was scanning. When you set a virtual depth, the firmware drives down until one of the 3 contacts within the probe opens. If your piece is irregular, and the probe is no longer over the piece but is still within the scan area, the probe fully raises when it hits the virtual depth, moves the specified amount and drives down again, taking an immense amount of time and a lot of wear and tear in the z axis. NextWave told me to allow the machine to touch the bed. OK, now I had to make a waste board as the bed, as you know is slotted. That did help the speed . . . . . Some. I ended up casting the desired carving on about a 9" x 14" cast. I attempted scanning this using NextWaves settings for speed, touching the wasreboard, etc. As an comparison, I scanned this cast on my Carvewright and it took about 3 hours. On the Shark HD-4,it would have taken over 3 days running around the clock!! I returned the new replacement probe unused, and they refunded the purchase amount, less the taxes which I had to eat!!! I was totally disappointed with NextWave's interest in improving the performance of this 3D digital probe. I DO NOT RECOMMEND it!!!

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Re: 3D Digital Duplicator

Post by Jon00 »

If you want to make a replica or duplicate of an object then you can try a 3D laser scanning service. Because 3D laser scanning service can capture the most accurate data of an object and help you to create a replica easily. The captured data of an object is 100% accurate. 3D laser scanning service Calgary, Alberta

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Re: 3D Digital Duplicator

Post by MikeManassas »

I bought a Digital Duplicator about three weeks ago and it functioned almost perfectly... no thanks to the instruction manual though. Almost nothing in the instruction booklet is correct.

Lessons learned:
Setup the Scan - Start your Shark before connecting the duplicator. Plug the duplicator into the LCD screen, NOT into the controller box. Plug a flash drive into the LCD USB port. Press the Apps button, then select duplicator. If you get a message on the LCD press up on the end of the duplicator probe to continue.
I am scanning objects with an irregular perimeter, but the duplicator requires you to define a rectangular scan area. Align your object so that it fills the smallest possible rectangle. This will reduce scan time. When you zero the probe make sure it is zeroed to the front left corner of the rectangular scan area.

Scan Speed - Set the scan speed to 15" per minute. You can probably go faster than that but after reading about problems with probes breaking and the ruby tip scratching the scanned object I went with a conservative speed.

Scan Resolution - I scanned my first object at .025" setting for dX and dY. My scan area was 3.25" x 5.25" and the scan took about 10 hours. My next object fit within a 2.5" x 5" rectangle. I scanned it at .01" and it took about 72 hours. Since both resolution settings were detailed enough for my project I will probably use .025" in the future, then use the smoothing function in VCarve to compensate for the lower resolution.

Scan Depth - I want my 3D model to be .562" thick so I set the scan depth to -.563
When I imported the model into VCarve I set the Zero Plane Position to .562 and checked 'Discard Data Below Zero Plane'. This removed the margin between my object and the rectangular scan area.

When finished scanning you will have a .DNW file on the flash drive. Go to https://portal.nextwaveautomation.com/Portal/ConvertDNW and upload the DNW file. You will get the converted STL file almost immediately. When I imported my first STL file into VCarve there was a big spike sticking up in the middle of it and I thought I may have to rescan (Ugh!). I opened the DNW file in a text editor and found that a group of Z values were greater than zero. They should be negative numbers. I looked at the Z values before and after the positive numbers and edited them to negative numbers that gradually transitioned from the z values before and after the spike. When I uploaded the modified DNW file I got a perfect STL file.

I used a .25" ball nose bit for the rough-in toolpath and a .125" for the finish. When I ran the toolpaths the end result only required light sanding.

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