Efficiency is a key alarm in recent substantial production industry. In the manufacturing industry nearly 72% of the total times were utilized for machining. An enhancement in machining time is thus an effectual way to increase productivity. In CNC machining there are quite a few methods to increase the machining efficiency: by reducing machining time directly, by optimizing tool path combinations between different machining regions so as to reduce air cutting time, by reducing the tool change time and by simplifying fixture setting up operations, etc. Free-form surface machining is widely used in industries. Tool path generation technology is of key importance in CNC machining of free-form surfaces to increase the efficiency in production. Free-form surfaces (sculptured surfaces or curved surfaces) are widely used in the aerospace, automobile, shipbuilding and electric appliance industries. These surfaces are obtainable from casting, stamping, injecting or direct machining. These free-form surfaces are usually formed through multi-axis machine tools by cutting off extra materials from work pieces. This cutting process is commonly realized by the repeated moving of a rotating tool along pre-defined trajectories which are referred to as tool paths.  The quality of tool paths, which is comprehensively evaluated by tool path length, approximation precision and topological relations between tool paths, etc., is one of the key factors that determine not only the efficiency of manufacturing processes but also the quality of final products. How an accurate and efficient tool path can be generated is an essential technical constituent in CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) systems.


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Tue, 19/04/2011 - 21:19