Scanner for plasma table

So over the weekend, I watched Wrenched on Motor Sports channel. The fellow cut out a thin piece of cardboard as a true template for a bike he was building, and then his wife took the template, stuck it in what looked like a printer scanner, and it showed up on their screen on the plasma table. Is this something that can be done with crossfire ? I make a pile of templates and would very convenient to just scan the image. Thanks in advance.

scan on copy machine or scanner… with a scale

bring into inkscape or what ever program your drawing in… Establish some references…


Keep expanding or shrinking your image PROPORTIONALLY until you have the scale and the reference matching. Your drawing is now to size…

Now your drawing is to size


Connect the dots with the bezier tool, or if you have real CAD, create points that you can make splines from:

You now have a vector that you can manipulate from there…

Simplify the path, start manipulating the nodes till the curves match your scanned shape:

Add and delete nodes as necessary to smooth the transitions and make a nice flowing line, and now you have a finished profile of your part… Thats one way, there are more, but you get the basics… You can also color your patterns black before scanning, then size it, then do trace bitmap and it will automatically give you a nice profile that may need just a little cleanup… I’m sure other people have suggestions as well… Good Luck!



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This is good advice… Has worked great for me in the past!!

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Thanks guys, so when they showed their template in the scanner, and it showing up on there program, and the they press cut or go, did they leave out all these other steps ?

I’m sure the technology is out there to skip these steps if you want to pay for it. But I can tell you, I work for a big company, we have state of the art equipment including laser scan, white light scan, blue light scan, and scanners that can scan whole cars that are hooked to robots all at once… Even stuff Im not really allowed to talk about. I have never seen a scan to cut job yet… So I’m guessing for the show, they skipped a few steps… I guess it depends on the accuracy you want. I mean with inkscape if I blackened that shape on paper, scanned it in to inkscape, hit trace, and sent the file, yeah sure I could basically “scan to cut” but it probably would only be “similar” to what I started with.

They may have brought it into their design program as a PDF. A PDF can contain vector images so the tracing steps would not be necessary. If the scanner & the PDF were true-sized then the resizing step wouldn’t be needed either.

Great info guys, I had a feeling that it may have skipped some steps. I do need accuracy, in our suspension components, and other products. My fear is having to take the time to learn myself, where we don’t seem to have right people in our area, that has the attention span to stick with learning. We have two rather large fab shops with tables, and they can’t seem to get reliable help. Again, thank for the input, I’m still very interested in a small table, just have to gain the confidence that I will have the time to learn and be sufficient myself.

I can attest to the fact the learning curve is steep! I’ve been fabricating for years, but I have spent many hours learning Inkscape, and fusion 360, and just starting to feel somewhat comfortable with them


wizards do exist… lol
So crazy to see someone with so much training and experience, use a program like Fusion and just do a simple 2 minute video and make it look so easy. Meanwhile I’m stuck on trying to extrude an object and cant find the two nodes that are not connected…

Great Video , thank you for sharing!


For those troublesome nodes not connecting…go to Autodesk App Store and download Sketch Checker.
It will find them, but then you have to manually fix them.

You can also look for ConnectTheDots add-in that you run as a script.


Pricier option but pretty awesome.
For production work.

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That’s a great option, and depending on your parts size, you could stay with a smaller board.
Thanks for posting.