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Optimized Tool Path Generation Methods for Economic and Collision free Multi-Axis Machining


The generation and the proving of the NC programs for
multi axis milling operations remain in many companies a
bottle neck that often prevents them to utilise the full
capacity of their multi axis machines. As a result,
manufacturing industries using multi axis milling
machines have a strong need for better CAM and NC
programming systems allowing a fast and optimal
generation of NC data. In order to avoid expensive
machine test runs, the NC program has to be error free
and checked against collisions between machine, tool and

The project objective is the integration of the CAM
module (tool path generation), the post processing and
the NC simulation. This will allow an immediate
verification of each cutter location generated by the CAM
module and the postprocessor. Dependent on the type of
collision the simulation program detects, the
postprocessor and/or CAM module will immediately take the
appropriate action. This is not a simple warning to the
operator, but a change of for example clamping position,
the insertion of a clearance point into the tool path or
a more complex collision avoidance method. New milling
strategies such as in process tool orientation
optimisation of which prototypes has been developed by
the K.U.Leuven will be integrated in order to obtain
better product quality, shorter machining times and
collision avoidance possibilities.

The integrated system will allow to have a higher process
and product quality, a reduced workpreparation time and
higher productivity up to 300% for single part production
and more flexible use of for example external available
NC machines. As a result of this project, end users
expect to replace most of the manual operations by multi
axis milling, having social and environmental benefits
such as:

cleaner production (milling instead of polishing)
less material waste, allowing 10% costs saving
substitution of hard manual work
re use of material (recycling of chips after milling).

The consortium comprises the industrial developers EDS
Unigraphcis (CAM software house), dCADE (NC simulation
software house) and FIDIA (controller builder). They are
complementary as they each have a profound knowledge of
one of the different technologies that will be used
within this proje'ct. The division PMA of the K.U.Leuven
has a five year experience in five axis milling,
developing prototype CAM software as well as a
generalised multi axis postprocessor integrate with a
simulation package. The K.U.Leuven will supply a major
input to this project by co ordinating the separate
developments. The endusers LIPS, MECOF and STOLA
represent applications ranging from style models for
bodyworks to moulds and dies, propellers and others.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


300 B,celestijnenlaan 300 B
3001 Heverlee

Participants (5)

Corso Lombardia 11
10099 San Mauro
Lips BV
5151 RP Drunen
Via Molino 2
15070 Belforte Monferrato
Stola SpA
Via Ferrero 69-71
10090 Cascine Vica Torino
dCade Gesellschaft für Produktionsinformatik mbH
25,Gustav-meyer-allee 25
13355 Berlin