Integrated CAD-CAM-Process Chain for Rapid Manufacturing of Prototypes
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The rapid transfer of research results to physical prototypes is a key function during many product development processes. Three years ago, we had established all relevant components for computer aided manufacturing at our Institute, but the problem was, it did not represent an integrated solution. The prototypes we manufactured became more and more complex. So we started a project with the aim to integrate our CAD-CAM-process chain. The result is presented in this paper.
Necessary steps for the realization of the project were the motivation and training of the technical personnel, also the adaption and adjustment of the existing software tools to the extended requirements.
Meanwhile we have a large experience in building up prototypes and test rigs from the fields of hydraulics, magnetic bearing technology and drive technology. The integration was reached by an increase of computer support during the design phases of prototypes and test rigs as well as during the corresponding manufacturing processes. The use of 3D-design models is a precondition for the full exploitation of today’s CAx-systems for rapid prototyping.