CNC mill Q's? Answered
Papa is looking into getting a CNC machine for his business and asked me about what to get. I looked into it for a little while but really I have no clue what is going to be needed.
We receive imprints (negatives) of people's feet in a floral-foam like substance and normally clean it up a little and pour a mix of plaster into it to get a positive mold, which needs intensive course and fine sanding in a sink, (as well as adding things like metatarsal pads and other custom things depending on the order) and from that point the ordered material is vacuum formed over and the rest of the insert is made.
Because of the shape of the feet and added features, it seems like we could cut out the use of the heavy plaster entirely if we use a 3D scanner to scan in the molds and then mill them out with a very basic 3 axis CNC out of cheaper/more light material for the rest of the processing.
The question is, what equipment will be needed? I see some of the cheap 3D scanners are really nothing more than glorified webcams and fancy software, while (guessing the much better) laser scanners are pretty $$$. So how can we scan these imprints into the computer as a 3D file? And what are some good cheap CNC machines that can do the main 3 axises and enough to do 6 to 10 molds at a time?