Thanks, I got a bit busy right now, will have to chk it out later. Looks like this does the whole thing, converts to 3d and creates the tool paths. I am not sure it will do exactly what i need though. I was wanting to convert the grayscale 16 bit tiff files to a 3D mesh, then have Estlcam create the tool paths, using multiple bits – a rough cut using 6.36mm and then a ball nose 3.18mm bit. Estlcam does the multiple passes, but, i don’t see that it can read a tiff depthmap, It needs an stl mesh file.
So many CNC shops use the grayscale depthmaps – and use programs like ArtCam or Aspire. I’m surprised that Estlcam doesn’t have the option of creating 3d from grayscale.
I tried Blender – starting with a plane, dividing it into a fine mesh, then using an image file as a displacement creating the 3d mesh, but, i don’t know Blender good enough to know what i am doing. I get a 3d mesh, but, I need precise control over the size and mapping, and i am lost in blender how to control it. The displaced 3d mesh doesn’t align or scale right to the plane i create.
Artcam and Aspire can do what i want. Aspire seems the best, but, i am trying to find free or affordable- and something that will work with Estlcam