Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Solids Model/CNC Programming
Sandia National Labs instituted CNC programming to help integrate product design and manufacturing. Previously, the product was designed by the engineering department, and the design was "thrown over the wall" to the manufacturing department to make the product. The CNC programming section would create the CNC code using a language-based, automatic programmed tools language after re-creating the part geometry, perform separate verification techniques using plotters and VERICUT simulation packages, and then dry-run the program on the machine tool. This process was time consuming, expensive, and created many chances for errors in the re-creation of the part geometry.
CNC programming personnel could use the solid model database available through ProEngineer, thereby eliminating the need to re-create the geometry. Using electronic data file transfer, the original design could be sent directly to the CNC programming section for creation of the code to manufacture the product. This process also allowed the conceptual designer or engineer and the CNC programmer to examine manufacturability issues early in the process and resolve the issues before the design was committed.
Through the sharing of a common solid model, one to 20 hours per CNC program is normally saved by not reconstructing part geometry; hard copy drawings are no longer required; rapid visualization of part features is obtained; associativity (many applications sharing the same database) is realized; and more complex parts can be programmed quicker and with fewer errors.
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