Technical Briefs

An Intelligent Approach to Multiple Cutters of Maximum Sizes for Three-Axis Milling of Sculptured Surface Parts

[+] Author and Article Information
Zezhong C. Chen, Gang Liu

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(1), 014501 (Dec 11, 2008) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3039518 History: Received April 06, 2007; Revised October 25, 2008; Published December 11, 2008

Due to their complex geometries, sculptured surface parts should be machined with multiple cutters of optimal sizes for high quality and productivity. Current methods of determining cutter sizes, however, are conservative and inefficient; their repeating process includes subjective cutter selection, intensive tool-path generation, and time-consuming gouging-and-interference detection in simulation. Our research proposes a new intelligent approach to multiple standard cutters of maximum sizes for three-axis sculptured surface machining. An innovative generic model of maximum allowable cutters in three-axis surface milling is built to eliminate any cutter causing local gouging and global interference. After the optimum standard cutters are automatically selected, their accessible regions can be identified, and the corresponding tool-paths can be generated, respectively. This approach is practical and effective in the process planning for three-axis milling of sculptured surface parts.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of the APT tool parameters

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Figure 2

Illustration of the formulation of the optimum cutter size

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Figure 3

(a) Design of a hair dryer mold and (b) the mold surface patches

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Figure 4

Radii of the maximum allowable ball end-mills at the CC points on Patch 1

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Figure 5

(a) The color map of the maximum allowable flat end-mills for roughing and (b) that of the maximum allowable ball end-mills for finish machining

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Figure 6

Machining simulations of the compound surface of the hair dryer by using (a) the new approach and (b) the conventional method



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