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Automatic Spatial Planning For Machining
Conferences & Talks

IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering

25 August 2015



We present a novel spatial planning system that automatically generates machining plans with stable fixtures to fabricate complex geometries. Given a cutting tool, the system initially finds all tool poses that do not cut into the desired part geometry, and constructs the maximal volume removable from a raw stock according to the tool's degrees of freedom. The planning space is then defined as the product space of all available tools and their associated maximal removal volumes. A sequence of machining operations to iteratively remove material from a raw stock is generated by searching the planning space and finding successive machining steps that minimize manufacturing time or cost. For each step, a vise or modular fixture is automatically assembled such that the part is stable and the fixture assembly does not interfere with tool motion. Process planning is an inverse problem and multiple feasible solutions exist to machine the part if it is deemed manufacturable by the system. The system generates and visualizes several qualitatively distinct fabrication plans for an engineer to choose from. The chosen plan is sent to a tool path planner to generate machining instructions. We will show several examples of rapid and automatic end-to-end machining process planning on complex geometries to demonstrate the scalability and practicality of our system.

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