Using Collaborative Robots to Assist with Travel Path Development for Material Deposition Based Additive Manufacturing Processes

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0292

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Additive manufacturing process planning is in its infancy. Many new additive manufacturing platforms are being developed using a robotic based system for the positioning. It is proposed to use a collaborative robot solution to teach a ‘median line’ based travel path for a bead deposition based system. In lieu of machining a block to result in a thin-walled component, thin walls can be built up using laser cladding or a similar process to generate a near net shape. Then this can be used as a stock model for machining. The logic for these tool paths is challenging algorithmically, but a process designer may have a solution in mind that it would be easier to teach; hence, integrating collaborative robots as part of the solution to generate the data required for the deposition system. Traditional robot systems require you to know the solution approach, while the manual teaching involves intuition, and personal experience. The collaborative robot will be used with a designer as an intermediate step for rapid travel path development. However, the information from a travel path will require stop-start information, cornering information, and other specialty commands (i.e., what is required when an intersection region is reached). Consequently, this information needs to be integrated into the solution approach before extracting the essential positional information to be employed by the actual deposition system. The research will cover selected cases where the bead is smaller than the walls to be built up, the same size, except with corning and filleting conditions, and where the bead is larger than the walls. The process flow and a command set based on specialized motions will be developed and simulated with several case studies.
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