Virtual Clay: An Enhanced Marching Cubes Algorithm for In-Process Geometry Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
John C. Chiou

 Unigraphics Solutions, CAM Division, 10824 Hope Street, Cypress, CA 90630chiou@ugs.com

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 129(3), 566-574 (Jan 04, 2007) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2716703 History: Received July 19, 2005; Revised January 04, 2007

This paper presents an enhanced marching cubes algorithm to construct an iso-boundary for in-process geometric modeling for material removal processes. The author first analyzes the tool motion and the geometric properties in material removal processes. The result shows that the in-process geometry is the complement of the tool swept volume from the raw material. The in-process geometry can be determined by continuously updating itself from the swept volume of the tool. This study uses a three-dimensional G-buffer to update the intersection information between the tool swept volume and the in-process geometry. Rather than traditionally searching for all intersection points ranging in a cube, the developed algorithm uses certain specific intersection points that are selected based on the removal geometry properties to construct the iso-boundary. It avoids the unfavorable ambiguities and holes on constructed boundaries. In addition, the developed algorithm is able to handle multiple intersection points in a cubical edge. This study also discusses material removal volume and tool collision issues. The computer implementation shows that the developed method is superior to the traditional ones in material removal applications.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Cube and iso-boundary

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Figure 2

Cubes and arrays in G-buffer

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Figure 3

G-buffer and material representation

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Figure 4

Iso-boundary construction

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Figure 13

Iso-boundary configurations

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Figure 5

Ambiguity iso-boundary

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Figure 6

Boundary simplification

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Figure 7

A milling tool and its swept envelope

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Figure 8

A block hallowed out by “MSG” letters

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Figure 14

Iso-boundary construction

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Figure 9

Swept envelope for simulation of free-form surface NC machining

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Figure 10

Simulated machined surface

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Figure 11

Machined surface on real part

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Figure 12

Simulated machined surface with a bigger grid size



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