AU Class
AU Class
class - AU

Automated Fixture Creation for CNC Milling Using a Generative Design Approach

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    How can new technologies like 3D printing and generative design help flexible and adaptable manufacturers, such as a CNC job shop, reduce time and cost whilst maintaining or improving their quality and throughput? In a world with an ever-increasing demand for adaptability and customization, whilst simultaneously a requirement for ever-increasing productivity, this is an important question to answer. This class will look at how automation of non-value-added steps in the engineering process such as the design of fixtures and work holding, can be used to reduce human error, save time, and increase productivity and quality. By combining generative design with CNC toolpath simulation capabilities of 5-axis machining software, multiple CAD-ready fixtures, based on manufacturing constraints and product performance requirements, can be quickly generated. This allows for bespoke fixtures which have been designed by the computer to be 3D printed overnight, ready to machine the next day. Generative design also allows multiple materials and manufacturing methods to be directly evaluated allowing the engineer to make informed choices about which manufacturing method is best suited for each case, depending on the machines and expertise they have available.

    Key Learnings

    • Automate fixture design and manufacturing with generative design and 3D printing
    • Increase productivity for CNC machining