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SOFTWARE UPDATE Hasenjaeger: Because composite workpieces have


a signifi cant amount of process time and labor in them prior to machining, they can be more expensive than even some exotic metal alloy workpieces. Thus, validation of the


Your Eye Inside™ 80 Models of Hawkeye Rigid, Flexible, and Video Borescopes


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part program is extremely critical. That includes accurately emulating CNC logic and detecting collisions and near misses between the cutting tool and all machine tool com- ponents, including axis slides, heads, turrets, rotary tables, spindles, toolchangers, fi xtures, workpieces and other user-defi ned objects. Typically, an ultrasonic knife or waterjet cuts thin cross sections, such as airframe skins and structural frames and stringers. Simulating these cutting processes requires software that emulates the cutting behavior to detect improper conditions. In addition, the software must gen- erate accurate material-removal models to compute the cutter contact patch for every cut and avoid melting or burning the heat-sensitive workpiece material. The simulation software should set cut- ting parameter limits and identify where they are exceeded. The modifi cations to machine tools for cutting composites that impact the collision-checking process gener- ally involve vacuum equipment and other hardware used to evacuate dust. However, the fi xtures for cutting thin composite parts can be more complex and costly than ones for other types of machining operations. Avoiding a tool collision with a workholding device is always important, but avoidance when machining these slender workpieces is critical. For example, when using a vacuum fi xture, cutting into the fi xture beyond a certain depth will break the vacuum, ruin the fi xture and set the workpiece free, likely ruining it. Another workholding method for these types of parts incorporates ‘pogos,’ individually positioned supports located under a workpiece and with vacuum cups on the ends. Cutting into a pogo can also ruin it and the cutting tool, or cause the workpiece to come loose and ruin it as well.


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