We get a lot of questions into our technical department about how to get started with surface digitizing. Digitizing, if you aren't familiar, is a technique that uses a touch probe to record a point cloud - basically a collection of XYZ coordinates that define a surface. Collecting the point cloud coordinates is relatively straightforward with the simple digitizing wizard included in Mach3 and a touch probe: either our digitizing probe or passive probe will do the trick. What's not always so straightforward is how to turn a point cloud into an actual surface model suitable for your CAD system. Depending on what software is available to you, there are a number of ways to do it. Here's one way to do it in Solidworks:
Sycode is a reasonably priced commercially available software that has point cloud plug-ins for many popular CAD packages, including Alibre and IronCAD. However, you can also accomplish much of the same with Blender, an open source 3D modeling suite. Want to learn how?