Computer aided process planning for multi-axis CNC machining using feature free polygonal CAD models

Joshi, Ashish
Major Professor
Matthew C. Frank
Committee Member
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

This dissertation provides new methods for the general area of Computer Aided Process Planning, often referred to as CAPP. It specifically focuses on 3 challenging problems in the area of multi-axis CNC machining process using feature free polygonal CAD models.

The first research problem involves a new method for the rapid machining of Multi-Surface Parts. These types of parts typically have different requirements for each surface, for example, surface finish, accuracy, or functionality. The CAPP algorithms developed for this problem ensure the complete rapid machining of multi surface parts by providing better setup orientations to machine each surface.

The second research problem is related to a new method for discrete multi-axis CNC machining of part models using feature free polygonal CAD models. This problem specifically considers a generic 3-axis CNC machining process for which CAPP algorithms are developed. These algorithms allow the rapid machining of a wide variety of parts with higher geometric accuracy by enabling access to visible surfaces through the choice of appropriate machine tool configurations (i.e. number of axes).

The third research problem addresses challenges with geometric singularities that can occur when 2D slice models are used in process planning. The conversion from CAD to slice model results in the loss of model surface information, the consequence of which could be suboptimal or incorrect process planning. The algorithms developed here facilitate transfer of complete surface geometry information from CAD to slice models.

The work of this dissertation will aid in developing the next generation of CAPP tools and result in lower cost and more accurately machined components.