A generic multi-axis post-processor engine for optimal CNC data creation and intelligent surface machining

Fountas, N.A, Stergiou, C.I., Vaxevanidis, N.M. and Benhadj-Djilali, R. (2017) A generic multi-axis post-processor engine for optimal CNC data creation and intelligent surface machining. In: 9th International Congress on Precision Machining; 06 - 09 Sep 2017, Glyfada, Greece. (Submitted)


This paper focuses on the development of a multi-axis post-processor engine with a curvature-based feed adaptation module, capable of extracting generic CNC data for high precision machining. The motivation of this work stems from the drawback of standard and commercial post-processors to modify their internal source codes so as to be implemented to newly-developed functions which integrate modern CNC units. The multi-axis post-processor proposed in this work operates as a stand-alone function of an artificial intelligent module that optimizes machining parameters for standard swept cut multi-axis surface tool-paths. The post-processor developed receives APT source files previously been optimized by means of a genetic algorithm that handles cutting tool selection; radial cut engagement; maximum discretization step; lead and tilt angles. The algorithm optimizes the aforementioned machining parameters towards the minimization of the number of cutter locations found in a specific APT source file as well as the surface machining error as a combined effect of chordal deviation and scallop height. The final APT output is then properly handled by the post-processor engine so as to extract the final ISO code for a double-pivoted head 5-axis CNC machine and compute optimal values for feed rate in each NC block considering the interpolation error and curvature analysis given the surface properties. To simulate and verify our proposals, the MAZAK Vortex 1000 gantry-type 5-axis CNC machine tool equipped with a Fanuc 15i CNC unit has been selected as the manufacturing resource corresponding to the final CNC output that the proposed post-processor computes. A benchmark sculptured part is created and used for the virtual material removal simulation in CATIA® V5 R18. For that part, both the proposed post-processor engine and a commercially available post-processor were employed to extract G-code data whilst it was shown that identical outputs were obtained.

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