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2502 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TooledUp
I've been hearing about laser measurement lately. HD offers to do a countertop template using a laser. If I get the gist of it, the laser records the measurments and download to a computer? Or maybe a cnc?

I also saw Nathan post about using a laser, but not sure if it's just a laser tape measure. To do a counter top template, the wall has to be scribed so I'm thinking it's high tech.

Any enlightenment or search term appreciated.
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Don't ask how I got to this point. I know....the thread is way old.

Yes.....I'm THE framerman. No applause necessary! Just a "Thank you, you are a GOD!" is suffice :)

I don't recall if you contacted me or not Joe. My memory isn't that great.

I've been hearing about laser measurement lately. HD offers to do a countertop template using a laser. If I get the gist of it, the laser records the measurments and download to a computer? Or maybe a cnc?
Unfortunately HD is dumber than a bag of rocks. They contract with a local fab shop.

The laser records 3d points in space and the software on the machine connects the dots. it will give you a basic CAD file which you can use in any CAD program. CNC's are programmed with CAM, like AlphaCAM.

It's not as easy as point A to point B. There is still some manipulation in all of the measuring.....and I mean ALL. You MUST put the file into a CAD system. Is it possible to do it in the machine? Yes, but it's much, much easier to grab a laptop with a CAD program.

I saw it on this Old House as well. It was awsome.
Well, golly, shucks, OK, I'll give you my autograph.:) It was kind of fun. I talked with Norm for awhile. Really down to earth nice guy. More philanthropist than you would think. It could have been longer, but I didn't make the rules.

Last, last year the client ordered kitchen tops from HD.

Sub came by and measured.

3 weeks later an installer drove abt 80 miles from their shop and brought the load in with his helper.

5 hours later they loaded most of em back in the truck to re-do at their shop.

My client, with a cool computerized printout in her hand was absolutely incensed she was going to have to wait another 2 weeks!

When they came back, they still had to custom fit them.
We had that happen a few times. It's not as simple as you would think. We had some kitchens that if you missed 1/8", the whole top was garbage. It happens sometimes. It's never good. Customers are always right. They all want their counters now.

If it's wrong, it is most definitely the fabrication shops fault. However, the template guys always get the blame and it is never 100% the fault of the templater. It's quite far from it.

We got that attitude with some people "oh, the new fancy equipment doesn't work as good as the wood templates." It ain't the machine. It's the dude behind the wheel. I don't know of too many industries where constant training is so critical. You cannot have an idiot on the end of that machine.

Thank You RC. I'll contact framerman.
Looks like an expensive piece of equipment.

What it plugs into "back at the shop" must be even more expensive.
The one I used was called a ProLiner. It's around $20K. It's not a laser system. It's mechanical, and IMO, it's more accurate than the laser system. Way, way faster though. I could template a whole kitchen in 2 minutes. That's the benefit of the system.

The laser one you refer to is LT55. That's around $10K - $12K. We tried it, didn't care for it. Slow, had errors. Anything shiny or had a porous surface would give you bad measurements.

Then there's photogrammetry, using a calibrated camera with coded targets. Cheap, but time consuming. Don't believe the youtube video, it's not indicitive of the real world. Some programs are free, some are really cheap, like $800. The ones used in countertops mostly cost around $5K.

And if you really want to go all out, Leica puts out a 3d modeling scanner for around $80K used that I will personally guarantee is 100% accurate.

The CNC at the old shop I worked at was around $500K installed with 2 beds, laser layout system, the works. I used to send out files to the floor of Angelina Jolie. They'd turn the laser on and she'd show up on the table. Guys would be dry humping the slabs.

OK, I'm going to go back to pounding nails now. I don't template anymore, but I do have the knowledge of these systems if anyone wants to contact me.
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