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Research Papers

A New Approach to Planning Plungers Paths for Efficient 2½-Axis Computer Numerically Controlled Plunge Milling of Complex Pockets With Islands

[+] Author and Article Information
Zezhong C. Chen

Department of Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering,
Concordia University,
Montreal, QC H3G1M8, Canada
e-mail: zcchen@encs.concordia.ca

Sherif Abdelkhalek

Department of Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering,
Concordia University,
Montreal, QC H3G1M8, Canada

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 23, 2013; final manuscript received April 23, 2014; published online May 21, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Xiaoping Qian.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 136(4), 041013 (May 21, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-13-1352; doi: 10.1115/1.4027538 History: Received September 23, 2013; Revised April 23, 2014

Plunge milling is an effective roughing operation, especially in pockets roughing, because it can efficiently remove a large amount of stock material without high manufacturing costs. However, plunge milling of complex pockets with islands, whose boundaries could be designed with free-form curves, is quite challenging for multiple plungers have to be used including small plungers to cut necks between islands and their plungers paths are expected to have fewer times of plunging and shorter travel to achieve efficient machining. Unfortunately, little research on this topic was carried out in the past, and the challenge has not been addressed yet. In this research, a new approach is proposed to generate plunger paths for efficient plunge milling of the complex pockets. Its main features include (1) packing plunger circles at a minimum number of locations inside the pocket for fewer times of plunging, (2) placing plunger circles to cover the areas enclosed by the afore-packed circles to clear out the interior pocket material, and (3) planning the shortest paths to connect plunger locations for less traveling time. The advantages of this new approach over the overlapped circles filling (OCfill) and the Catia methods are demonstrated with two examples, and it can be directly used for pocket plunge milling in industry.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Pocket and island enveloping polygons for the pocket and island free-form profiles

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Fig. 2

Determination of a theoretical plunger circle location in a corner formed by the pocket polygon and an existing plunger circle

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Fig. 3

Determination of theoretical plunger circles in a corner formed by two existing plunger circles

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Fig. 4

Plunger location validation by checking whether a theoretical plunger circle intersects (gouges) with the pocket boundaries

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Fig. 5

Plunger location validation by checking whether a theoretical plunger circle intersects (overlaps) with a placed plunger circle

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Fig. 6

Determination of relative corner space size for a corner placement

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Fig. 7

Triangulation of plunger circles centers, three of which enclose an area

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Fig. 8

Triangulation of plunger circles centers, four of which enclose an area

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Fig. 9

A polygon of encompassing an area enclosed by several plunger circles

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Fig. 10

The pocket and island profiles and the packed plunger circles

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Fig. 11

The encompassing polygons for the circle-surrounded areas

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Fig. 12

The plunger circles for the circle-surrounded areas

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Fig. 13

The connecting paths for the three plungers

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Fig. 14

The complex pocket with an island, whose profiles are B-spline curves

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Fig. 15

The four plunger circles at their locations which is planned with this approach

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Fig. 16

The connecting paths for the four plungers

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Fig. 17

A part with this pocket is machined in plunge milling

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