Duplicating Existing Parts

There are simple ways, complicated ways, and software solutions when you need to image a part into a useable CAD/CNC file. July 11, 2005

I have a large batch of parts to duplicate and I want to use the router to pick some points and send the g-code back to the office computer. Once in the CAD program, we can add holes or whatever else we need. I know that multi-cam offers a digitizer that uses a g-code to .dxf converter. Does anyone know where I can get one?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor S:
Here is a suggestion to take a look at.


From contributor B:
There are a few things you can do to solve this problem. Going backwards from G-code to .dxf is probably the most complex. The simplest way to do this yourself with no new equipment is to mount a cheap laser pointer on your z-axis. You then can pick points along the part line and record the x/y locations off your screen. This can be done onto paper or by speaking them into a tape recorder. Then all you have to do is create a spline in AutoCAD using the recorded points. We do this on a regular basis and get at a minimum +/- 1/64" accuracy. I have to thank the late Dennis Sullivan of Skalar Systems for helping me put that process together.

We also have a 44" x 60" digitizing board that we mount tracings onto. If your parts are in that sort of size range or larger, you can trace them onto paper and send them to someone like myself for digitizing into AutoCAD. That person could then email back .dwg or .dxf files to you. If the parts are small enough to trace onto a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper, you can scan them on any flat bed scanner. Then you can paste or import that image into AutoCAD and draw over it to create the .dwg file.

Larger drawings can be done the same way on large blue print scanners; a service I have heard is available at some office supply stores. Again, this is something I've done many times with accuracy on our own blueprint scanner.

From contributor M:
I would take a look at Contact Auto Cut Research (the link below). They have a product called Backlink, which can take G-code and convert it to .dxf.

Auto Cut Research