Authors: Y. Wu, Y. Rong, T.C. Chu
Addresses: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6603, USA. ' Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6603, USA. ' Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6603, USA
Abstract: Flexible fixturing is a necessary aspect of FMS and CIMS. Computer-aided fixture design (CAFD) has become a research focus in implementing FMS and CIMS. Although modular fixtures have been used in industry as flexible fixtures, there are some limitations in large-batch and mass productions where dedicated fixtures are utilised. By combining CAFD with 3-D lithographic and/or CNC machining techniques, customised fixtures can be rapidly designed and fabricated to reduce manufacturing lead-time. In this paper, an automated customised fixture design system is introduced. Based on fixture structure analysis, fixtures are divided into functional components, fixture bases, and supporters of connections. A geometry-element generator is designed to adaptively generate fixture components with dimensions according to workpiece geometry and operational information. Locator/clamp selection is automatically conducted with connections to a fixture base. Once fixture units have been designed individually, the connections may be modified into combined units based on certain criteria. Interference checking and fixture unit modifications are also automatically performed in the system. Fixture design examples are given at the end of the paper.
Keywords: computer-aided design; CAD; computer-aided manufacturing; CAM; computer-aided process planning; CAPP; computer-aided fixture design; CAFD; fixture structural analysis; flexible fixtures.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 1997 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.213 - 235
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