VERICUT Composite Paths for Engineering
VCPe gives a composite part designer, mechanical engineer or process engineer access to the same software tools NC programmers use to create Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) NC program paths that are subsequently used in the workshop to lay-up a composite part. Using these tools the part designer or engineer can easily create and experiment with various AFP path options and evaluate the effects AFP manufacturing has on a composite part’s design intent. By producing actual AFP tape courses that could be used to program AFP fabrication equipment in the workshop, the user can measure and evaluate the effects of AFP path trajectory, material steering, surface curvature, course convergence and other process constraints as they would be applied in manufacturing. Tape course geometry can be written to various CAD formats for further evaluation by the user’s existing analysis methods and tools.
VCPe provides produceability analysis for:
- Fiber angle based on the curvature of the part
- Overlap and gaps needed for structural analysis
VCPe contains a subset of standard VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) features, and accordingly presents a subset of choices in its user interface. Those features associated with post-processing and writing AFP NC programs are not available. However, VCPe files containing AFP tape courses are compatible with standard VCP and can be used as a starting point for AFP off-line NC programming. VCPe can be upgraded to standard VCP.
An interface to Vistagy’s Fibersim composite design suite of products is included. Interfaces for other CAD formats including CATIA, NX and STEP are available.
VERICUT Composite Programming
VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) reads CAD surfaces and ply boundary information and adds material to fill the plies according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. Layup paths are then linked together to form specific layup sequences and output as NC programs for the automated layup machine.
VERICUT Fiber Placement Programming Process:
Reads CATIA V5, STEP, or ACIS surface models
- Other model formats available upon request
Reads FiberSIM, CATIA V5 or external ply geometry and information
- Boundary geometry
- Ply direction
- Start points
Generates layup paths based on manufacturing engineering rules
- Rosette projection at specified angles
- Parallel to guiding curve
- Following the natural path of the form’s surface
- Add thickness to form for subsequent sequences
Links paths to create form layup sequences
- Automatically and manually link paths based on shortest distance and form’s topology
- Insert machine-specific commands and actions
- Insert safe start and restart events
Post-processes linked paths
- Output per machine requirements
- Configurable machine-specific events
- Output safe start and restart sequences
Electroimpact Selects CGTech to Provide Machine Independent AFP Programming Software
Excerpt from: High-Speed Fiber Placement on Large Complex Structures
By: Russell DeVlieg, Kyle Jeffries, Peter Vogeli
Programming of AFP machines is critical. Traditionally, the machine tool vendor has delivered AFP programming systems. However machine tool vendors do not generally excel at the type of programming required for an AFP programming system, or at providing updates for new operating systems, CAD software or computing hardware platforms.
Spirit AeroSystems has recognized the need for programming software to be provided by an industry recognized software provider as part of a standard suite of regularly updated and maintained software. The delivery of machines by competent machine tool vendors, with the delivery of programming systems by competent software vendors, mirrors practices in the mature metal removal industry. In that industry machine tool vendors by and large no longer attempt to compete with far more competent programming companies like Mastercam, Gibbs and others.
Electroimpact recognized CGTech, with their Vericut Suite of software, as being very capable to provide machine independent AFP programming software. For over 2 years Electroimpact has been in a non-exclusive partnership with CGTech to develop AFP programming software called the “Vericut Composite Programming and Simulation Suite”. Major aircraft manufacturers and their partners have tested this programming software over the last 2 years, and it will be used by Spirit Aerosystems to program these new AFP machines. The software will be updated and maintained by CGTech. For further information on the programming system contact CGTech.
The addition of a mathematically rigorous programming system has been demonstrated to eliminate end placement errors sometimes seen on machine tool manufacturer-developed programming systems. These programming system errors appear most frequently in tow convergence areas. They occur less frequently at ply boundaries.
Electroimpact, Inc. White Paper [PDF]
Visit the Electroimpact Showroom
VERICUT Composite Simulation
VERICUT Composite Simulation (VCS) reads CAD models and NC programs, either from VCP or other composite layup path-generation applications, and simulates the sequence of NC programs on a virtual machine. Material is applied to the layup form via NC program instructions in a virtual CNC simulation environment. The simulated material applied to the form can be measured and inspected to ensure the NC program follows manufacturing standards and requirements. A report showing simulation results and statistical information can be automatically created.
Fiber Placement Machine Simulation details:
- Based on industry leading VERICUT Software
- User-configurable machine kinematics and control emulation models
- Reads and simulates ISO (G-Code) NC program file
A dual-head ElectroImpact AFP machine creating an airplane fuselage section.
A Kuka robot with an ElectroImpact AFP head.
An Accudyne AFP machine.
An mTorres AFP machine creating two spars on one tool
An mTorres AFP machine with an ultrasonic knife.
VERICUT Composite Machine Simulation & Analysis Features:
Reads CAD geometry of the layup form
- Used for collision detection and material application
Uses VERICUT virtual machine and control emulation to simulate the layup machinery
- Can be configured for virtually any CNC syntax and machine kinematics configuration
Reads the NC program and simulates the layup process based on NC program commands
- Validate the actual NC program that will run on the layup equipment
- Add material to the form based on NC program commands
- Material added in discreet layers/sequences, constructing the workpiece exactly like the physical process
Checks the process for compaction roller/form conformance and direction
- Verify roller orientation to path
- Verify path correctness to the form and previously applied sequences/layers of material
- Check roller conformance for bridging or excessive compaction
Added material is measurable and can be inspected for manufacturing requirements
- Measure lap, gap and thickness
- Detect steering radius violations
Visit the Electroimpact Showroom