A laser robot (OPTIMO) has been part programmed via a small computer using computer aided design/computer aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) techniques. The first step was to define the qualifications of the system that is to be obtained. The requirements of the user that have been taken into consideration for a CAD/CAM automatic programming system used with a laser cutting or welding robot, mainly cover the need to integrate the system, both from a functional point of view and for data flow, as well as the need to overcome the intrisic programming difficulties. It is necessary to note how important the integration is for a plant that uses high level technologies. This CAM system can be used by large or small plants.
IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT TO BRING WITHIN THE BUDGET OF SMES THE POSSIBILITY TO PROGRAMME A LASER ROBOT VIA A SMALL COMPUTER BY MAKING USE OF CAD/CAM TECHNIQUES. A MATHEMATICAL MODEL OF THE ROBOT WILL BE DEVELOPED SO THAT CONTROL PROGRAMS FOR CUTTING OR WELDING OF WORK PIECES CAN BE WRITTEN AND CHECKED "OFF-LINE", I.E. WITHOUT THE NEED OF PHYSICAL TESTING ON THE ROBOT ITSELF. SUCH A MATHEMATICAL MODEL IS CALLED A "VIRTUAL MACHINE".
THE "VIRTUAL MACHINE" WILL BE BUILT INTO A STAND-ALONE CAD/CAM WORK STATION CONNECTED TO THE LASER ROBOT. IN THIS WAY, AN SME WILL BE ABLE TO DIRECTLY GENERATE A PROGRAM TO CONTROL PATH CO-ORDINATES, LASER ORIENTATION, AND SO ON, STARTING FROM A CAD DESCRIPTION OF THE PART TO BE CUT OR WELDED.. THIS PROCEDURE AVOIDS THE INTERMEDIATE STAGE OF PRODUCING A PHYSICAL MODEL OF THE PART IN ORDER TO "TEACH" THE PATH TO THE LASER ROBOT.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts