Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 78

Segmented Object Manufacturing

Submitted in the partial fulfillment of the requirements


of the degree of
Masters in Engineering
(CAD/CAM & Robotics)
by
Pratik Rajesh Soni
Roll No: 1205008
Guide
Prof. R.R.Lekurwale



DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
K.J.SOMAIYA COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, VIDYAVIHAR
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
(2014)









Dedicated To
My Family












ii

Certificate
This is to certify that the dissertation entitled Segmented Object Manufacturing is a bona fide
record of the dissertation work done by Mr. Pratik Rajesh Soni in the year 2013-14 under the
guidance of Prof. R.R.Lekurwale of Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment
of requirement of the Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in
CAD-CAM and Robotics.


--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------
Guide Head of the Department
(Prof. R.R.Lekurwale)


---------------------------------------
Principal

Date:
Place: Mumbai







iii

Dissertation Approval for M. E.
This dissertation report entitled Segmented Object Manufacturing by Pratik R.
Soni is approved for the degree of Master of Engineering in CAD/CAM and
Robotics.
Examiners
1.---------------------------------------------
2.---------------------------------------------
Guide
1.---------------------------------------------
Chairman
-----------------------------------------------

Date:
Place:








iv

Declaration
I declare that this written submission represents my ideas in my own words and where others' ideas
or words have been included, I have adequately cited and referenced the original sources. I also
declare that I have adhered to all principles of academic honesty and integrity and have not
misrepresented or fabricated or falsified any idea/data/fact/source in my submission. I understand
that any violation of the above will be cause for disciplinary action by the Institute and can also
evoke penal action from the sources which have thus not been properly cited or from whom proper
permission has not been taken when needed.

----------------------------
Pratik R. Soni
Roll No. 1205008
University Registration No.: KJSCE/173

Date:










v

Abstract
Rapid Prototyping (RP) is a process where one manufactures a model of the product with limited
or complete functionality. It is done by additive manufacturing rather than conventional subtractive
manufacturing. In all commercial RP processes, the part is fabricated in the x-y plane and stacked
along the z axis. This results in very exact prototypes in the x-y plane but stair-casing along the z-
axis. Segmented Object Manufacturing (SOM) is a Rapid Prototyping (RP) process meant for
making foam patterns. Unlike traditional rapid prototyping where the objects are built in several
thin slices, SOM builds objects in thick slices. In spite of that, the objects are free from stair-steps
owing to its novel visible slicing. SOM is typically a hybrid process involving hot wire cutting for
slicing the stock, CNC machining and gluing. SOM is useful for building larger prototypes.
A study and complete overhaul of the machine was carried out and various sub-systems of the
machine were tested. As the machine gradually became functional, the focus shifted to integration
of all the sub-systems of the machine, viz. milling, hot wire slicing and gluing into one Automatic
Program. Multiple softwares have been used to create, edit, test and execute the program. The
softwares used are Delcam Powermill 2013, Notepad, Cimco and SurfCAM DNC.
This report explains each software used in detail .It explains why certain methods are more
appropriate as compared to others. The settings required for each software to work properly have
also been described. The project concludes with a comparison of the CAD model and the actual
object obtained and provides justifications for the inaccuracies. It also elaborates future scope for
development in the SOM machine.

Key words: Rapid Prototyping, Segmented Object Manufacturing, Automatic Program








vi

CONTENTS
List of figures ................................................................................................................................. ix
List of tables .................................................................................................................................... x
Nomenclature ................................................................................................................................. xi
1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 1
1.1 Outline .............................................................................................................................. 1
1.1.1 Different Rapid prototyping technologies ................................................................ 2
1.2 Background and motivation ............................................................................................. 3
1.2.1 Stamping dies ............................................................................................................ 3
1.2.2 Stratos concepts, LLC ............................................................................................... 5
1.3 Scope and application....................................................................................................... 6
1.3.1 Scope ......................................................................................................................... 6
1.3.2 Applications .............................................................................................................. 6
1.4 Objectives of study ........................................................................................................... 8
1.5 Organization of thesis....................................................................................................... 8
2 Literature review .................................................................................................................... 10
2.1 Shapemaker II ................................................................................................................ 10
2.2 Free-form thick-layered object manufacturing (FF-TLOM) .......................................... 10
2.3 Flexible blade cutting ..................................................................................................... 11
2.3.1 Requirements for flexible blade .............................................................................. 11
2.4 Rough machining strategies ........................................................................................... 12
2.4.1 Model rest area clearance ........................................................................................ 13
2.5 Finishingstrategies .......................................................................................................... 13
2.5.1 Raster, Radial, Spiral, and Pattern Finishing .......................................................... 14
3 Methodology .......................................................................................................................... 16
3.1 Flowchart for methodology ............................................................................................ 16
4 Segmented object manufacturing (SOM) machine ............................................................... 18
4.1 Overall view of the machine .......................................................................................... 18
4.2 Principle of working ....................................................................................................... 19
4.2.1 Algorithm for visible slicing ................................................................................... 21
4.3 Machine kinematics........................................................................................................ 22
4.4 Machine specifications ................................................................................................... 22



vii

4.4.1 Machine tool ........................................................................................................... 24
4.4.2 Controller ................................................................................................................ 25
4.4.3 Software and interfacing ......................................................................................... 25
4.5 The structure of the machine .......................................................................................... 29
4.5.1 Proposed alteration.................................................................................................. 29
4.6 The slides........................................................................................................................ 30
4.7 The brakes ...................................................................................................................... 30
4.7.1 Proposed alteration.................................................................................................. 30
4.8 The ATC ......................................................................................................................... 31
4.9 The Spindle .................................................................................................................... 31
4.10 Cutter .............................................................................................................................. 32
4.10.1 Proposed alteration.................................................................................................. 32
4.11 Glue gun ......................................................................................................................... 33
4.11.1 Operation of the glue gun and the type of glue to be used ..................................... 33
4.11.2 Proposed alteration.................................................................................................. 34
4.12 Area filling algorithm ..................................................................................................... 34
4.13 Hot wire system .............................................................................................................. 34
4.13.1 Functioning of the system ....................................................................................... 34
4.13.2 Parameters that dictate the cutting action of the wire ............................................. 35
4.14 Work done to bring the machine into working condition .............................................. 36
4.14.1 Establishing communication between the controller and a computer .................... 36
4.14.2 Improvising the cable to connect via USB ............................................................. 36
4.14.3 Repairing the axis controller ................................................................................... 36
4.14.4 Repairing the coupling that connects the motor with the x-axis ............................. 36
4.14.5 Replacing the battery that helps memorize the zero position of the machine ........ 37
4.14.6 Replacing rubber components................................................................................. 37
4.14.7 Oiling the various joints to get the machine in working order ............................... 37
4.15 Case study ...................................................................................................................... 37
4.15.1 Steps 0 and 1 ........................................................................................................... 38
4.15.2 Steps 2,3 and 4 ........................................................................................................ 38
4.15.3 Steps 5 and 6 ........................................................................................................... 39
4.15.4 Steps 7,8 and 9 ........................................................................................................ 39
4.15.5 Steps 10 and 11 ....................................................................................................... 40



viii

5 Implementation and execution of code .................................................................................. 41
5.1 Description of the bracket that will be manufactured .................................................... 41
5.2 Steps to create the bracket (brief overview) ................................................................... 41
5.2.1 Importing the model slices into Powermill ............................................................. 41
5.2.2 Creating and simulating the code ............................................................................ 42
5.2.3 Mounting the themocole block onto the machine ................................................... 42
5.2.4 Selecting and mounting of tool ............................................................................... 42
5.2.5 Interface and transfer of program ........................................................................... 43
5.3 Tools used to create and execute the code ..................................................................... 43
5.3.1 DelcamPowermill ................................................................................................... 43
5.3.2 Microsoft Notepad .................................................................................................. 49
5.3.3 Cimco Edit V5 ........................................................................................................ 53
5.3.4 SurfCAM DNC ....................................................................................................... 55
6 Results and Discussion .......................................................................................................... 57
6.1 Comparison between the dimensions of the CAD model and the actual model ............ 57
6.2 Observations ................................................................................................................... 57
6.3 Justifications for the inaccuracies .................................................................................. 58
6.3.1 Coupling error ......................................................................................................... 58
6.3.2 Material addition due to gluing ............................................................................... 58
6.3.3 Heating loss ............................................................................................................. 58
6.3.4 Machine instability.................................................................................................. 59
6.3.5 Optimum feed and spindle speed ............................................................................ 59
6.3.6 Vibration due to eccentric cutter shank, because of manual grinding .................... 59
7 Conclusion and future scope .................................................................................................. 60
7.1 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 60
7.2 Future scope ................................................................................................................... 61
References ..................................................................................................................................... 63
Authors publications ..................................................................................................................... 65
Acknowledgement ........................................................................................................................ 66







ix

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1-1: Broad classification of rapid prototyping technologies ............................................... 2
Figure 1-2: Stamping dies prepared by assembling and gluing smaller parts ................................ 3
Figure 1-3 Stratoconcepts (layered manufacturing) procedure ...................................................... 5
Figure 1-4: Applications of SOM ................................................................................................... 6
Figure 2-1: FF-TLOM head and Figure 2-2: FF-TLOM process simulation .......................... 11
Figure 2-3: Rough machining strategies (isometric view) ............................................................ 12
Figure 2-4: Rough machining strategies (front view) ................................................................... 13
Figure 2-5: Material left on product after roughing ...................................................................... 14
Figure 2-6: Finishing patterns ....................................................................................................... 15
Figure 3-1: Flowchart for methodology ........................................................................................ 17
Figure 4-1: SOM Machine (overall view) .................................................................................... 18
Figure 4-2: Possible slices obtained by visible slicing ................................................................. 19
Figure 4-3: Settings required to machine the bracket on a three axis machine ............................ 20
Figure 4-4: Kinematics of the som machine ................................................................................. 22
Figure 4-5: Character framing ...................................................................................................... 26
Figure 4-6: Pin diagram to connect the fanuc controller to a computer ....................................... 28
Figure 4-7: Photograph of the automatic tool changer (atc) ......................................................... 31
Figure 4-8: Photograph of the glue gun ........................................................................................ 33
Figure 4-9: Photograph of the hot wire slicing system ................................................................. 34
Figure 4-10: Hot wire locking mechanism ................................................................................... 35
Figure 4-11: Proposed case study ................................................................................................. 37
Figure 4-12: steps 0 and 1 ............................................................................................................. 38
Figure 4-13: steps 2, 3 and 4 ......................................................................................................... 38
Figure 4-14: steps 5 and 6 ............................................................................................................. 39
Figure 4-15: steps 7, 8 and 9 ......................................................................................................... 39
Figure 4-16: steps 10 and 11 ......................................................................................................... 40
Figure 5-1: CAD model of the object to be machined .................................................................. 41
Figure 5-2: Powermill interface .................................................................................................... 43
Figure 5-3: Object to be machined (slice 1).................................................................................. 44
Figure 5-4: Object to be machined (slice 2).................................................................................. 44
Figure 5-5: Object vector .............................................................................................................. 45
Figure 5-6: Settings for rough machining ..................................................................................... 47
Figure 5-7: Settings to create the nc code file............................................................................... 48
Figure 5-8: Cimco interface .......................................................................................................... 53
Figure 5-9: Simulation of the program on cimco .......................................................................... 54
Figure 5-10: Surfcam dnc interface .............................................................................................. 55
Figure 5-11: Surfcam dnc settings for communication................................................................. 56
Figure 6-1: Comparison between the cad model and the actual model obtained ......................... 57






x

LIST OF TABLES
Table 6-1: Dimensional and surface comparison of cad model and machined object ..................... 57




























xi

NOMENCLATURE
3D - Three Dimensional
2D Two Dimensional
SLA Stereo Lithography Apparatus
SLS Selective Laser Sintering
ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
RP Rapid Prototyping
CAD Computer Aided Drafting
RM Rapid Manufacturing
EB Electron Beam
SRM Silicon Rubber Molding
LM Layered Manufacturing
HLM Hybrid Layer Manufacturing
RC Rapid Casting
STL StereoLithography file format
DXF Drawing Interchange Format
CNC Computer Numerical Control
SOM Segmented Object Manufacturing
EPC Evaporative Pattern Casting
FF-TLOM Free form thick layered object manufacturing
PM Prototype Model
ATC Automatic Tool Changer
UART Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter
AC Alternating Current
USB Universal Serial Bus
HSS High Speed Steel
CAM Computer Aided Manufacturing
1

1 INTRODUCTION




Till 1987, manufacturing was dominated by material subtraction. Material was removed from a
pre-defined block of raw material. Not only machining but also formative processes like forming
and casting had to be finished using subtractive machining. The sign change in manufacturing
happened with the advent of Additive Manufacturing by 3D Systems. It led to total automation in
converting art-to-part (design-to-manufacturing or virtual-to-physical). It is as
easy/simple/analogous as 2D printing. So, many prefer to call it as 3D Printing. Additive
manufacturing revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured today. It is an
effective tool to compress product development time and hence gives an edge over the competitors.
[1]
1.1 OUTLINE
Rapid manufacturing is a subset in the field of rapid prototyping. The most commonly used method
for rapid manufacturing is rapid casting. The process works as follows.
Initially a prototype is created using any of the 3D technologies like SLA, SLS, etc. A silicon mold
is prepared out of this pattern. So now we have a silicon mold in two parts (cope and drag). The
gating system is built into the silicon mold. The vacuum casting machine has two compartments,
one is where the silicon mold is kept (the lower compartment) and the other is where the molten
material is kept (the upper compartment). A near zero vacuum is created in the machine. This
along with gravity enables the flow of the material from the upper chamber into the mold. This
process is used to cast plastics, ABS, rubber and wax.[2,3]
Whenever a new product is developed, there is a need to develop a functional sample of the
product. This sample is called a prototype. This is done before investing a huge amount of money
in developing assembly lines, special tooling etc. because of the following reasons:
This chapter presents an introduction to segmented object manufacturing. It starts with a
description of what 3D printing is and the various technologies available in the market for 3D
printing. It then describes in brief, the machine that has been used for the project. It starts by
defining the scope of the project, then elaborates the problem statement and finally the
objectives of the project are listed.



2

1. Capital cost is very high
2. Production tooling takes considerable time to prepare
3. Design evaluation
4. Troubleshooting
The advantages of RP:
1. Physical models of parts produced from CAD data files can be manufactured in a matter of
hours and allow the rapid evaluation of manufacturability and design effectiveness. In this way,
rapid prototyping serves as an important tool for visualization and concept verification.
2. With suitable materials, the prototype can be used in subsequent manufacturing operations to
produce the final parts. This also serves as a manufacturing technology
3. RP operations can be used in some applications to produce actual tooling for manufacturing
operations (rapid tooling). [3]

1.1.1 DIFFERENT RAPID PROTOTYPING TECHNOLOGIES
The basic steps while constructing a prototype are as follows
1. Solid model
Figure 1-1: Broad classification of rapid prototyping technologies [4]



3

2. STL file generation
3. Rapid manufacturing system (error checking, orientation, support, slicing)
4. RP machine.
The tree above gives a classification of various rapid prototyping technologies used. [3]
1.2 BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION
1.2.1 STAMPING DIES
Stamping dies are the large shape components that are manufactured through casting followed
byCNC machining process. The casting is obtained by evaporative pattern casting process. For
thisexpanded polystyrene is used. The figure below shows the patterns fromGanesh Pattern, Pune
and that of Jyoti Tooling, Pune. The patterns are made by dividing the larger object into small
segments. These segments are then glued together to get the complete pattern.

Figure 1-2: Stamping dies prepared by assembling and gluing smaller parts [5]
In the RM lab at IIT-Bombay, a team has designed and developed a RP (rapid prototyping)
machine that can produce the 3D model of the given design. The raw material used is expanded
polystyrene. The principle of manufacturing is the same. It divides the given object into segments
using the help of an algorithm called the visible slicing algorithm. The segments are then glued
together to give us the desired object. The machine is known as Segmented Object Manufacturing
(SOM) machine. The 3D model thus obtained can be used for making patterns through evaporative
pattern casting process.



4

The proposed process is a hybrid process which uses subtractive as well as additive processes. The
subtractive process is the CNC machining of the segments and the additive process is gluing of the
segments.






























5

1.2.2 STRATOS CONCEPTS, LLC
This UNIQUE stratoconcept process (layer manufacturing) was developed in partnership with
CIRTES(European Center for Rapid Prototyping and Tools).
Stratoconcept allows hollow core forms and internal details for big size real (no flat surface
necessary with CNC machines) 3D objects. [6]

Figure 1-3 Stratoconcepts (layered manufacturing) procedure [6]



6

1.3 SCOPE AND APPLICATION
1.3.1 SCOPE
To make the SOM machine fully functional and integrate all the subsystems into the controller and
to develop and execute a CNC code to create a complete object with the press of a single button
(from CAD model to actual object).
1.3.2 APPLICATIONS
The following figure indicate some of the applications of the SOM machine

Figure 1-4: Applications of SOM [4]





7

1.3.2.1 EVAPORATIVE PATTERN CASTING (EPC)
Evaporative Pattern Casting (EPC) is a class of processes that use pattern materials that evaporate
during the pour, which means there is no need to remove the pattern material from themocole
before casting. The two main processes are lost-foam casting and full-mold casting.Lost-foam
casting is a type of evaporative-pattern casting process that is similar to investment casting except
foam is used for the pattern instead of wax. This process takes advantage of the low boiling point
of foam to simplify the investment casting process by removing the need to melt the wax out of
the mold.
Full-mold casting is an evaporative-pattern casting process which is a combination of sand casting
and lost-foam casting. It uses an expanded polystyrene foam pattern which is then surrounded by
sand, much like sand casting. The metal is then poured directly into the mold, which vaporizes the
foam upon contact. [2]
1.3.2.2 MILITARY DECOY (MOCKUPS OF PLANES, SHIPS, TANKS)
The patterns resulting out of the SOM machine can be used as decoys on a battle field. Themocole
components can be readily painted to resemble tanks and artillery. This would create a distraction,
it could provide additional times to the army and prove lifesaving in certain instances. It would
also be easy to carry around since themocole is light weight. A real tank which would weigh
thousands of kilos would be only a couple of kilos on themocole. Mock-ups of ships could also be
made. It could be designed and painted so that it resembles a real ship. This would give an illusion
of a much larger army than it actually is.
1.3.2.3 FESTIVALS
Ganesh Chaturthi is a widely celebrated festival in the state of Maharashtra. Every year lakhs of
idols of lord Ganesh are made out of plaster of Paris and immersed into the sea. This has created
a lot of problems for the environment. The plaster of Paris does not decompose into the sea and it
is toxic to the sea life. Plaster of Paris is heavy to move around.
The concept of SOM could be applied to create themocole idols. They would be very light weight
and hence very easy to move around. The making would take place by CNC programming which
would be highly accurate and fast as compared to manual labor. They could be painted just like
regular idols. And the best part would be environmental friendliness. Themocole decomposes in
acetone. Instead of immersion, we could have a small tray with acetone, the idol could be placed
in the tray and it would slowly melt away giving the effect of immersion.



8

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The objectives of the project are as follows:
-To study the rapid prototyping technologies in the market and to find out drawbacks in them. A
review of the current technologies has been done and it has been concluded that long build times
and stair casing are two of the most significant drawbacks of current technologies. The Segmented
Object Manufacturing (SOM) machine overcomes these.
-To get the SOM machine into working condition by fixing the following sub-systems
1. Braking mechanism
2. Hot wire mechanism
3. Gluing mechanism
4. Automatic tool changer
5. Interfacing the controller with a computer
-To create a method to create the complete program from CAD model to actual component for a
specific component. (This involved using 4 softwares to create an integrated program).
1.5 ORGANIZATION OF THESIS
The thesis has been organized into seven chapters for the convenience of the reader.
The first chapter introduces the concept. It briefly discusses rapid prototyping technologies and
draws a comparison between them. It introduces segmented object manufacturing, illustrates the
scope of the project and finally presents the objectives of the study along with the problem
definition.
The second chapter is the literature reviews. It describes previous research done on machines
which are similar to the one available here. It draws a comparison between those machines. It also
presents machining strategies that have been used in the latter part of the project.
The third chapter shows the methodology used. It explains the project step by step in the form of
a flowchart
The fourth chapter sums up the work done during the initial phase of the project. It explains how
the SOM machine was revived. The components that were replaced. The studies done to interface
the controller with a computer. It finally explains the steps required to machine a specific object
on the machine.



9

The fifth chapter describes the tools required to create and implement the CNC code. It describes
the softwares and the steps required to create a code which can be custom run on this machine.
The SOM machine is unique in the sense that it has two work tables. Certain modifications need
to be done to enable running of code on this machine.
The sixth chapter presents a tabular and pictorial comparison between the object actually
manufactured and the CAD model. It lists down the observations and provides the probable reasons
that have caused deviation between the actual object and its CAD model.
The seventh chapter presents a conclusion and describes scope for future work.























10

2 LITERATURE REVIEW



2.1 SHAPEMAKER II
Thomas and co-workers developed a new rapid prototyping system for a large object called the
Shape-Maker II. The system employs a heated wire to cut layers with sloped edges from sheets of
25mm thick poly-styrene foam to fabricate large-scale prototypes. The heated wire is controlled
by two plotter heads, which simultaneously trace the top and bottom contours of a part slice.
However, the difficulties associated with the shape maker II in cutting of a multiple-connected
domain are due to the mechanism of cutting in which the heated wire cutter goes through the foam.
Other draw backs associated with the mechanism of the heated wire cutter are the slow response
in each rotation of axis when using the two plotter heads and the difficulties in the melted area due
to an inconsistency of power for heated wire, which is induced by a change of wire tension and
wire length during the rotation. Thomas and Chamberlain also developed the latest version of the
thick-layered ruled edge machine called Shape maker 2000. It is a four-axis water jet cutter
capable of building prototypes of 20 ft. or more in size [7, 8].
2.2 FREE-FORM THICK-LAYERED OBJECT MANUFACTURING
(FF-TLOM)
The principle of the proposed FF-TLOM technology is based on the shaping of the front faces of
each layer, which is performed in a free-form way. At a later stage, the machined layers are
assembled or stacked to obtain the Prototype Model (PM). The PM fabrication with the FF-TLOM
technology is achieved in such a way that possibly little or no finishing effort is needed for a proper
functional usage. The proposed technology uses thick high-density polystyrene foam layers, whose
front faces are shaped according to the principle of free-form cutting. In this method, the foam
layers are shaped with a flexible hot knife, which is heated by electrical current. The cutting blade
This chapter presents the literature survey done on rapid prototyping. It also describes existing
machines for themocole prototyping and the existing work on machining strategies which has
been used for the latter part of the project.



11

is flexible and its curvature is adjusted according to the local shape requirements set by the nominal
shape of the CAD-model.
2.3 FLEXIBLE BLADE CUTTING
The cutting is performed with a cutter, which consist of a flexible cutting blade supported at both
ends. This is shown in Figure 5 where the supports are rotatable and introduce an inclination at
both blade ends in respect to the U-shaped support structure. The shape and curvature of the blade
are defined by the inclination of the blade at both supporting ends, the length of the blade, the
endpoints and the assumption that the blade will take up a shape related to the minimal strain
energy inside the blade.
The cutting blade is electrically heated. Due to heat radiation towards the foam, the foam melts
locally and creates a gap in which the cutting blade can proceed. This is a continuous process,
which requires continuous energy input into the cutting blade to prevent the blade cooling down.
The amount of power required depends, amongst other things, on the cutting speed and the
electrical properties of the cutting blade. When the applied cutter speed is too high the melting
does not have proper time to have effect, the gap is not sufficiently shaped and the foam material
opposes the blade. This will create higher cutting forces, which will deform the blade shape. On
the other hand, when the speed is too low the foam melts away in a wide gap, which will have also
a negative effect on the cutting accuracy. Cutting speed, surface quality and provided heat are
important items and need thorough investigations to achieve a feasible cutting technology [9]

Figure 2-1: FF-TLOM head [9] Figure 2-2: FF-TLOM process simulation [9]
2.3.1 REQUIREMENTS FOR FLEXIBLE BLADE



12

The cross-section of the blade is considered constant having a high aspect ratio (thickness/width
ratio).
The cutting blade has to be flexible enough to take up the requested tool profile, referred
to as tool shape, in order to give the required shape curve.
The cutting blade should be rigid enough to sustain that tool shape during cutting.
The blade material should be electrical resistance in order to be heated up and also have
good dynamic heating characteristics.
The blade material is thus very important and it seems to be most likely that the requested
material properties cannot be achieved in one specific type of material and the application
of compound material for the blade will thus be considered. [9]
2.4 ROUGH MACHINING STRATEGIES
The main strategies for roughing a 3D component Model are called 3D Area Clearance. These
provide a choice of 2D material removal methods, which progressively machine the area (Slice),
up to the component contour, down a sequence of user-defined Z Heights. [10]

Figure 2-3: Rough machining strategies (isometric view) [12]
Sometimes known as Waterline Roughing the cutter steps down to a specified Z Height and



13

Fully clears an area (Slice) before stepping down to the next Z Height to repeat the process.

Figure 2-4: rough machining strategies (front view) [12]
For some components a secondary Area Clearance strategy is applied using the Rest Machining
options in conjunction with a smaller roughing tool. This will locally remove pockets of excess
material inaccessible to the original Reference Toolpath or Stock Model. This will reduce the
degree of tool overload and provide a more consistent material removal rate for any subsequent
Finishing operations. If the original material is in the form of a casting or fabrication then it may
not be necessary to apply any Area Clearance machining but to go directly for a semi-Finishing
strategy [11]
2.4.1 MODEL REST AREA CLEARANCE
It is generally good practice to use as larger diameter tool as possible for the initial Area Clearance
operation. This ensures that the maximum amount of material is removed as quickly as possible.
In many cases however the larger diameter tool may not have full access to certain internal corners
or pockets within the component. As a result these areas will require further roughing out with one
or more, smaller diameter tool before sufficient material is removed prior to running the Finish
Machining strategies. In the Model Rest Area Clearance options a smaller diameter tool is
referenced to a previously created machining strategy such that tool tracks will only be produced
locally within the remaining material (stock).[11]
2.5 FINISHINGSTRATEGIES
Finishing strategies machine the actual component form and where applicable, follow on from the
Area Clearance operation. Suitable values are required to control the accuracy and amount of
excess material to be left on a component by a tool path. The parameters used for this purpose are
called Thickness and Tolerance. Thickness is the amount of extra material specified to remain on



14

the work-piece after machining. This can be applied generally (as shown), or independently as
separate Radial and Axial values within the machining options. It is also possible to assign
additional Thickness values to groups of Surfaces on the actual model [12]

Figure 2-5: Material left on product after roughing [12]
2.5.1 RASTER, RADIAL, SPIRAL, AND PATTERN FINISHING
This section will cover Finishing strategies created by the downward projection of a Pattern, which
include four types, Raster, Radial, Spiral and (user defined) Pattern. Powermill generates the
toolpaths by projecting a wireframe form down the Z-axis onto the model. The standard patterns
applied in Raster, Radial, and Spiral are achieved by entering values directly into the Finishing
Form. The resultant Pattern can be displayed by selecting Preview before executing the command
by selecting Calculate. The Pattern option requires a user-defined geometric form (active Pattern),
which is projected down Z onto the model as a toolpath. Typical previews of the our Pattern
strategies are shown below as viewed down Z. [12]











15


Figure 2-6: Finishing patterns [12]
Out of the above strategies, the one that we shall use the raster strategy because:
1. Radial causes uprooting of grains and non-uniform surface finish, it results in more
material removed at the centre
2. Spiral takes a long time and the distance between adjacent spirals is limited by machine
ability
3. A user defined pattern is not required in this case as the object is not as complex








16

3 METHODOLOGY
Kinematic Analysi
3.1 FLOWCHART FOR METHODOLOGY























This chapter presents the methodology used for the project. It presents the steps that have been
used to fulfil the objectives in the form of a flow chart
Study of various machines and techniques available to manipulate themocole
Create the model in Solidworks and import the model to
Powershape
and slicing it
Literature Review
Study the programs to generate and test the code like Powermill,
Powershape, Surfcam DNC, Cimco and Solidworks to create the
CAD model

Manipulating the programs using notepad and Cimco to
enable running the program on our machine
Creating the programs for individual slices (machining
from both sides top and bottom)

B
A
Problem Definition
To make the SOM machine fully functional by
integrating all the sub-systems into the controller
and also Development of CNC code for making a
fully automatic conversion from CAD model into
expanded polystyrene prototype





17


















Figure 3-1: Flowchart for methodology









Program works
as intended?
As intended?

Run the program



A
B
Creating and placing code for the functions of slicing and
gluing
Is the object as
per the
specifications?

Results and discussion



B



18

4 SEGMENTED OBJECT MANUFACTURING (SOM)
MACHINE



4.1 OVERALL VIEW OF THE MACHINE
The SOM machine and its components:

Figure 4-1: SOM Machine (overall view)
This chapter describes the SOM machine in detail. All its subsystems have been explained in
detail. The interfacing between the controller of the machine and computer has been explained
and the work that has been done during the initial phase of the project has been described




19

4.2 PRINCIPLE OF WORKING
The purpose of the machine is to manufacture prototypes out of themocole. This is done in multiple
stages using a novel concept of slicing which is explained below.
In conventional slicing strategies, the slice thickness and part accuracy are closely related. As
against this, in visibility based slicing, visibility is used as the criteria for determining the slice
thickness or segment geometry to be more precise. For this the given object is split into visible
slices, also known as segments. The intersection of any vertical ray with the v-slice will always
give us a pair of points. When the faces encountered by the ray happen to be vertical, one gets a
line segment as intersection in which case the end points of this line segment can be treated as the
pair of intersection points. This characteristic of v-slice ensures its machinability by a vertical
cutter from two opposite directions. Following figure illustrates the concept of v-slicing for an
object shown in Figure. [13, 14]

Figure 4-2: Possible slices obtained by visible slicing [13, 14]



20

Figure shows us the given object. Since the object can have multiple set of visible slices all
possible combination are shown in figures b,c,d,e. Figures b,c gives us equal and opposite 2pairs
of slices and the raw material required would be equal for both of these but figure d has the least
amount of raw material. Hence after obtaining all possible combinations of slices, a post
processing is done so as to give us a minimum amount of the raw material required.
If the slicing is accurate enough, the horizontal surfaces of the object can be obtained during the
slicing operation itself whereas the non-horizontal surfaces will require machining in scan milling.
Therefore, after obtaining the set of v-slices that have the least heights, we prefer to split them
further if any of the slices have large horizontal surfaces. Accordingly, the preferred set of slices
for this object will be the one shown in Figure 4.2 e. This is obtained from Figure d by splitting
the bottom slice at its horizontal surface. But the one that we will implement here would be d. The
reason being a larger number of slices reduces part accuracy along the z-direction.

Figure 4-3: Settings required to machine the bracket on a three axis machine [14]
The proposed v-slices can be correlated with the number of setups required in CNC machining to
produce the object by scooping out material from its bounding box. Figure a shows the blank of
this object in 1st setting. Figure 4.3 b shows the blank at the end of 1st setting. After reversing the
object, the remaining surfaces are machined except the eye-end hole (Figure c). Machining this



21

hole requires a separate setting as shown in Figure d. Therefore, CNC machining, which is purely
a subtractive process, requires three settings to make this piece from a blank. The same object can
be made through SOM in just two V-slices (Figure d), each requiring machining from top as well
as bottom; hence this object will have essentially four settings in SOM. SOM has one setting more
since the eye end hole is realized in two settings of different layers.
4.2.1 ALGORITHM FOR VISIBLE SLICING
Karunakaran et al [13] have developed an algorithm based on the principle of visible slicing that
decides the location of the slice, thickness of slices needed and post processing to combine
segments to give us the desired object. A face of the solid will be called invisible face if (i) its
normal is upward and (ii) it is shadowed by its other faces; otherwise, it will be called a visible
face. These are illustrated in Figure a. A contiguous set of invisible faces is called invisible patch.
While the segmenting can proceed in either the top-down or bottom-up manner, the building will
happen in a bottom-up manner only. The author has chosen segmentation in the top-down manner
in this algorithm. Algorithm for determining the V slices: [13]

The above algorithm produces v-slices but they could be more in number with the possibility of
combining some of the segments into one segment without affecting the visibility.



22

4.3 MACHINE KINEMATICS
The machine is a 3-axis machine. It has independent AC servo motors for movement along each
axis. The x and z axis have 2 lead screws of 5mm.The y axis has just one lead screw.
There are two work tables for machining, one is at the bottom of the frame and fixed rigidly and
the other is at the top and is movable. The top table can slide along the z-axis and uses brake pads
to hold its position. The raw material is mounted using double sided tape.

Figure 4-4: Kinematics of the som machine [4]
The figure above presents a schematic of the kinematics of the machine. The machine has a table
at the bottom where the work-piece will be deposited. The top table is for machining a visible slice
from the bottom.
4.4 MACHINE SPECIFICATIONS



23

The motion along the three axes takes place by means of three motors, the specifications of which
are as follows:
Fanuc AC servo motor
Model: is 8/3000
Motor specs:
A06B-0075-B503
No. C089X4228
Output: 1.2KW
Voltage: 153
Frequency: 133 Hz
Current: 4.9 Amp
Speed: 2000 min-1
Manual part number: B-65302
The motor uses the following encoder for positioning:
Pulsecoder iA128
Type A860-2020-T301
The motor is connected to the lead screw by using a beam coupling.
A beam coupling, also known as helical coupling, is a flexible coupling for transmitting torque
between two shafts while allowing for angular mis-alignment, parallel offset and even axial
motion, of one shaft relative to the other. This design utilizes a single piece of material and
becomes flexible by removal of material along a spiral path resulting in a curved flexible beam of
helical shape.
Wherever 2 lead screws have been used, they have been connected using a timer belt.
The hot wire gets a current of 4.5 A at a voltage of 24, DC.
The machine has 3, 3/2 single acting valves and 1, 5/2 double acting valve from FESTO.
The glue gun and the ATC are operated by 3/2 valves. The glue gun requires 1 and the ATC
requires 2. One to change position and the other to lock the tool in place.
The brake table is operated by a 5/2 valve.
The entire machine can be divided into three subsections
1. Machine tool
2. Controller



24

3. Software and interfacing
4.4.1 MACHINE TOOL
The machine tool includes all the mechanical systems of the machine, viz. ATC,spindle and cutter,
glue, hot-wire and chip disposal. Below is a brief description.
4.4.1.1 AUTOMATIC TOOL CHANGER (ATC)
The machine has a six tool ATC which is pneumatic. The pressure at which everything works is 5
bar. It is mounted on a frame which can move along the z axis. The ATC has been designed such
that two vertically opposite tools can run at the same time. There is a switch which enables the
ATC to do this. A plate depresses a roller when the ATC is indexed and vertically opposite tools
can spin simultaneously. The ATC also has a locking plate which gets engaged into a plastic
groove. The groove is part of the hot wire cutting system. When the locking plate is engaged, the
wire moves along with the ATC.
4.4.1.2 HOT WIRE CUTTING
There is a nichrome wire which runs parallel to the x axis of the machine. It can be heated and
the themocole can be sliced. The voltage of the wire is 4.5V.Nichrome is a nonmagnetic alloy of
nickel and chromium. It is silvery- grey in color, corrosion resistant and has a high melting point.
Due to its high electric resistance and resistance to oxidation at high temperature it is used as a
heating element.
4.4.1.3 GLUE GUN
The glue gun is used to attach the various machined slices of the themocole together. It uses
thermoplastic beads of glue from a company called Jowart. Thermoplastic meaning the beads
can be melted and dried repeatedly without significantly affecting their characteristics.
4.4.1.4 TOP TABLE MOVEMENT AND BRAKING
The top table is the second work table which can move along the z-axis. It is held in position by
four pneumatic brake pads which are normally closed (When air supply is off, the brakes are
clamped, and when the air supply is on, the brakes are released). The ATC table has four plates at
the four corners which support the top table. As the ATC frame moves upwards, a metal sensor
gets activated and the brakes are released. This causes the top table to move down with the ATC.
The entire top table comes down with the ATC frame. This feature is used to stick the slice on the
top table to the slice on the bottom table.



25

4.4.2 CONTROLLER
The controller is what enables the hardware of the machine to be controlled.
The controller and the three motors have come as a complete set. The operating manual for the
machine is attached at [15]. The controller is supplied by Fanuc. The model number is Fanuc series
Oi Mate-MC. It accepts inputs through a 25 pin parallel female port. It has been programmed to
perform certain unique to this machine functions as follows
M11: brake table release
M10: lock brake table
M21: hot wire on
M22: hot wire off
M12: glue gun on
M13: glue gun off
Some part of PLC programming was used to allocate these codes. This was done with the help of
a CNC controller expert.
4.4.3 SOFTWARE AND INTERFACING
The software used is SurfcamDNC. It is used to transmit data from a PC to the controller. A
detailed description of the interfacing follows.
4.4.3.1 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF WHAT IS A SERIAL/PARALLEL INTERFACE
Since the subject of interfacing is quite vast we will limit our discussion to the interfacing used
between the SOM machine and the computer. For this particular connection. we used a DB9 male
connector at the PC end and a DB25 female connector at the machine end. This connection uses
the RS-232 protocol. Length of RS-232 links can be 80 feet or more depending on cable
specifications and required data transfer rates.
A UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) is a piece of computer hardware that
translates data between serial and parallel forms. A UART is present at the sending and the
receiving terminal. The basic job of a UART is converting data from parallel to serial for
transmission and from serial to parallel on reception. [17, 18].
4.4.3.2 PURPOSE OF VARIOUS PINS
The pin description is as follows
DB 9 Connector



26

1 - Data carrier detect
2 - Receive data
3- Transmit data
4 - Data terminal ready
5 - Signal ground
6 - Data set ready
7 - Request to send
8 - Clear to send
9 - Ring indicator
DB 25 Connector
2 - Transmit
3 - Receive
4 - Request to send
5 - Clear to send
7 - Signal ground
6 - Data set ready
8 - Data carrier detect
20 - Data terminal ready
[16]
The character framing is as follows

Figure 4-5: Character framing
If at all the parity bit is used, it comes after the data bits but before the stop bits. [16]
4.4.3.3 BYTES
A byte is a unit of digital information that consists of 8 bits.
4.4.3.4 BAUD RATE
The baud rate is nothing but the rate at which data is transmitted. It represents the number of bits
that are actually being sent over the media. It includes the overhead bits Start, Stop and Parity that



27

are generated by the sending UART and removed by the receiving UART. This means that seven-
bit words of data actually take 10 bits to be completely transmitted. In this case we use a baud rate
of 9600
4.4.3.5 PARITY
A parity bit, or check bit, is a bit added to the end of a string of binary code that indicates whether
the number of bits in the string with the value one is even or odd. Parity bits are used as the simplest
form of error detecting code. In this machine, we use even parity
4.4.3.6 STOP BITS
The bits that come after the data bits are called as stop bits. There may be one or two stop bits
depending on the system. Until the end of the last stop bit, there can be no new characters. Once
the last stop bit or bits are completed, the transmitter is ready to repeat the entire process again
from the start bit. In this machine, we used two stop bits.
4.4.3.7 HANDSHAKING
Handshaking determines the communications protocol that will be used to govern the flow of
information between the computer and the other side of the cable. Originally, serial ports used
handshaking to signal to the sending device that it was OK to send more information. This was
done because it is possible that the receiver may not be ready to receive more information.
However, as the speed of computers has increased substantially, they can easily outrun even the
fastest serial communication. In our case, we used XON/XOFF handshaking. XON enables
transmission and XOFF disables it. When the slave is ready to receive data, it sends an XON signal
to the master and when its input buffer is full, it sends an XOFF.[17, 18]













28

4.4.3.8 PIN DIAGRAM TO CONNECT THE CONTROLLER TO A COMPUTER
This was made according to the instructions of a CNC controller expert.

Figure 4-6: Pin diagram to connect the fanuc controller to a computer

4.4.3.9 MACHINE PARAMETERS
The machine parameters need to be configured as follows
0000 - 00000110
This parameter is used to set:
a) TV check
b) Code used for data output
c) Unit of input
d) Automatic insertion of sequence numbers
0020 - 0
This is used for selection of an input/output device or selection of input device in the foreground
0100 - 00000000
This parameter is used to set:
a) Character counting



29

b) EOB to be output in the ISO code
c) Output of the end of block in ISO code
d) Whether a program is read block by block or continuously
e) How to stop program operations
f) Action taken when a null code is formed during reading of code
0101 - 10000001
This parameter is used to set:
a) Number of stop bits
b) Whether the alarm for internal handy file is displayed or not
c) Code used for data input
d) Feed before and after data
0102 - 0
This parameter is used to set the number specified for the input/output device
0103 - 11
This parameter is used to set the baud rate[19]
4.5 THE STRUCTURE OF THE MACHINE
The machine structure is a box which has a metal plate at the bottom and four, one inch solid rods
on which the movement of the ATC takes place. There are three tables in all. At the very bottom
is the work table where themocole blocks are mounted. The mounting is done using double sided
tape. The next table holds the ATC and the y-axis. The third table is for machining a visible slice
from below. The machine is 900x900x1000 mm.
4.5.1 PROPOSED ALTERATION
We propose to increase the dimensions of the machine to 2000x2000x2500 mm. This will provide
more volume for machining thus making it suitable for large scale prototyping. The four supporting
rods are solid 25 mm ones. We propose to have 50mm hollow rods. This would improve rigidity
of the machine and wouldnt lead to an increase in weight.





30

4.6 THE SLIDES
The machine is a 3-axis machine. The controller came with three AC servo motors for the x, y and
z axis. The x and z axis have 2 lead screws of 5mm. The y-axis has just one lead screw.
The work table is not mobile but the ATC is.
4.7 THE BRAKES
The bottom table of the machine is fixed. The top table can move. The top table can slide along
the four rods mentioned in the previous section. The top table is held in position by four pneumatic
brakes. These brakes are normally closed (engaged when there is no air supply). When air is
supplied to the brakes, they are released and the table becomes free to slide down. This enables
the deposition of the slice onto the work table below.
4.7.1 PROPOSED ALTERATION
Currently the brakes are released by one metal sensor at one vertex of the table. When this detects
a metal, it activates the air supply to the brakes thus releasing them. This however is risky and not
fool proof. It could lead to a fatal accident when someone inadvertently activates the switch while
working on the machine. We propose to activate it using a CNC code and sensor. This would
enhance the safety of the system. This has been accomplished by PLC programming with the help
of a CNC controller expert.



31


Figure 4-7: Photograph of the automatic tool changer (atc)
4.8 THE ATC
The automatic tool changer (ATC) assembly can house 6 different tools. It can be indexed at 60
degrees. At any given time, two opposite tools can be run. This is facilitated by using three rollers
which get depressed at a particular position of the ATC. This enables machining at both the tables,
the upper and the lower table. The ATC is operated by air. It occupies a volume of approximately
500x500x500 mm, considering the unusable space as well. The ATC has an inlet and an outlet for
the spindle and an inlet and an outlet for the indexing.
4.9 THE SPINDLE
There are six pneumatic motors which power the spindle. The rpm obtained is about 2500. We
require above 15000 rpm. This could either be obtained by increasing the flow rate or the pressure.
The pressure cannot be increased because it raises safety concerns. A higher pressure would
require replacement of the plastic pipes with metal pipes. This would raise the expense as well. So
we would increase the rpm by increasing the flow rate. Currently, the pipes that carry air are too
thin to handle increased flow. They need to be replaced with pipes of a larger diameter.



32

The current pipes have a diameter of 6mm. We have replaced them with 8mm pipes.
4.10 CUTTER
The cutters that we use currently are either milling cutters or drill bits. They have not been designed
to cut themocole, they are metal cutters. This results into undesired surface finish and chipping of
the themocole. Themocole is made up of granules, the surface finish is inversely proportional to
the granule size i.e. higher the surface finish, smaller should be the granule size. So the feed rate
and the rpm have to be perfectly optimized to get desired parameters.
4.10.1 PROPOSED ALTERATION
There is a wide variety of cutters available for metal cutting. Checking each and every cutter to
optimize parameters would be time consuming. So we intend to make our own cutter. At present,
there is aFused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machine present in the lab. This could be used to
print out the plastic body of the cutter. We could have a cutter having the exact dimensions as
required. The cutter would have a ball nosed tip. It could have a single cutting point which is made
out of a paper cutter. This way the weight of the cutter would be very low thus assisting in reaching
higher rpms. It would be cheap as well.



33


Figure 4-8: Photograph of the glue gun
4.11 GLUE GUN
The glue is attached at the back of the ATC. It is required to stick the slices of the object together.
It operates using thermoplastic beads of glue from a company called Jowart. The beads melt on
application of heat and solidify on cooling down. The beads are thermoplastic meaning they can
be heated and cooled a number of times with no significant changes to their properties. The glue
melts at approximately 120 degrees Celsius. The melting takes place by using a cylinder wrapped
with a heating coil. The glue is dispensed using air pressure.
4.11.1 OPERATION OF THE GLUE GUN AND THE TYPE OF GLUE TO BE USED
Various properties need to be kept in mind while using the glue gun. In applications where the
SOM product is used as pattern for casting, the ash content needs to be low. If the glue has
significant ash content, it can cause defects in the casting. The slices are deposited from the top
layer to the bottom layer. After deposition the top table moves up. When the glue is being deposited
on the slice, it should not dry out before application is completed. So it needs to have a sufficient
setting time. And while the top table moves up, the slice should not get disturbed from its position,



34

so the drying has to be sufficiently quick as well. The glue should not react thermally or chemically
with the themocole or disturb the shape and finish in any way.
4.11.2 PROPOSED ALTERATION
Instead of the current glue, we intend to use 3M scotch-weld polystyrene foam insulation adhesive
which has been specifically formulated to stick themocole. The glue is available as 54 gallon
drums.
4.12 AREA FILLING ALGORITHM
The glue cannot be applied in a haphazard manner. The path of application needs to be planned
for accuracy and efficiency. An area filling algorithm would help determine the best possible way
to apply glue.
4.13 HOT WIRE SYSTEM

Figure 4-9: Photograph of the hot wire slicing system
4.13.1 FUNCTIONING OF THE SYSTEM
Themocole melts on application of heat. The system works on this very principle. There are two
holders for the nichrome wire which supply current to it. The wire gets heated and it is fed through



35

the themocole to produce a cut. The movement of the hot wire takes place according the following
mechanism

Figure 4-10: Hot wire locking mechanism
There is a block at the back of the ATC which engages in a slot as shown. As the ATC moves, the
cutting system also moves.
4.13.2 PARAMETERS THAT DICTATE THE CUTTING ACTION OF THE WIRE
The parameters influencing the hot-wire cutting of EPS are:
1. Foam material
The softer the material (i.e. lower density), the easier it is to cut
2. Supply voltage
3. Feed rate
If you move the wire faster, less themocole gets burnt in the process. If you move the wire slowly,
more of it gets burnt.
4. Wire Tension
The more taut the wire, the more planar the surface
5. Wire Material
6. Wire Diameter
A thicker wire would have a lower resistance so according to the equation q=i*i*r, heat generated
would be lower and vice-versa.
Apart from these parameters, there are other things which influence the cutting.
Due to heat, the wire elongates noticeably and forms a downward bow (because of gravity), this
causes a similar effect on the surface being cut. So a planar surface will look like a concave



36

surface. In order to take care of this, we have two springs at each end of the wire to keep it taut at
all times.
While cutting the themocole, because of material resistance, the wire forms a bow in the cutting
plane as well. This, however does not affect the surface of the work piece.
4.14 WORK DONE TO BRING THE MACHINE INTO WORKING
CONDITION
The following sub-sections describe the work done to bring the machine into working condition.
4.14.1 ESTABLISHING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CONTROLLER AND A
COMPUTER
Since the machine has been lying unused for about three years, there was very little information
available about how to connect the controller with a computer. We managed to make a new wire
with the required pin connections and made a successful connection by changing certain
parameters (mentioned in the previous chapter) in the controller.
4.14.2 IMPROVISING THE CABLE TO CONNECT VIA USB
Since most computers these days have USB ports and serial ports are not popular anymore, we
need to have an interface that has a USB connector on one side and a DB25 pin on the other. There
is a USB to serial convertor readily available in the market which was used for this purpose.
4.14.3 REPAIRING THE AXIS CONTROLLER
The axis controller controls the motors that provide movement to the axis. This controller was sent
to Fanuc, Bangalore for repairs.
4.14.4 REPAIRING THE COUPLING THAT CONNECTS THE MOTOR WITH THE X-
AXIS
The motor is connected to the lead screw by a coupling, this coupling has become loose so we
were not getting motion along the x-axis, and this was fixed by removing the entire assembly with
the motor and re-tightening it.



37

4.14.5 REPLACING THE BATTERY THAT HELPS MEMORIZE THE ZERO POSITION OF
THE MACHINE
The machine zero can be set from the parameters. This is required to be done only once and then
the controller memorizes it. However, because of a faulty battery, the machine did not memorize
the zero position and it had to be reset every time we started the machine. The battery was replaced
and the problem was solved.
4.14.6 REPLACING RUBBER COMPONENTS
Because of non-usage, the rubber components of the machine were spoilt and had to be replaced
4.14.7 OILING THE VARIOUS JOINTS TO GET THE MACHINE IN WORKING ORDER
The hot wire cutting mechanism was not functioning properly. The hot wire is supported at two
ends and whenever one end moves, the other has to move automatically. This was not happening
before because the pulley was not tightly attached on the rod that connects both ends. Also, some
of the moving parts had rust on them, so we opened the assembly, cleaned it and oiled it
4.15 CASE STUDY
The sub-sequent sections describe an object that is proposed to be built on the SOM machine using
the concept of visible slicing.
We will describe the building of the object with 11 figures and 11 steps as follows

Figure 4-11: Proposed case study





38


Figure 4-12: steps 0 and 1
4.15.1 STEPS 0 AND 1
Attach the themocole block at the top worktable and machine the bottom of the first slice


Figure 4-13: steps 2, 3 and 4
4.15.2 STEPS 2,3 AND 4
Bring the top worktable down, attach the bottom of the first slice to the bottom worktable and slice
it. Bring the top worktable back up.




39


Figure 4-14: steps 5 and 6
4.15.3 STEPS 5 AND 6
Machine the top of the first slice and the bottom of the second slice

Figure 4-15: steps 7, 8 and 9
4.15.4 STEPS 7,8 AND 9
Get the top table down, attach the bottom of the second slice to the top of the first slice and take
the top worktable back up




40


Figure 4-16: steps 10 and 11
4.15.5 STEPS 10 AND 11
Machine the top of the second slice and the required component is ready
This chapter gave the reader, an overall idea the SOM machine. The case study presented has been
implemented after the machine is brought to working condition. The next chapter describes the
complete process to create the code. It describes all the stages of manufacturing and gives reasons
for making specific decisions.











41

5 IMPLEMENTATION AND EXECUTION OF CODE


5.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE BRACKET THAT WILL BE
MANUFACTURED
A CAD model of the object was provided by our guide, it has been displayed in the figure below

Figure 5-1: CAD model of the object to be machined
It is a bracket which is used to mount large doors onto hinges. The task was to slice the given
object into visible slices [13] and then create a program which would create the entire object
automatically by pressing a single button.
The slices have been shown in the latter part of the chapter.
5.2 STEPS TO CREATE THE BRACKET (BRIEF OVERVIEW)
5.2.1 IMPORTING THE MODEL SLICES INTO POWERMILL
The two slices of the model have to be imported into Powermill. Powermill accepts a lot of
standard formats including, but not limited to .stl, .iges, .psmodel, .step. Out of these, we require
compatibility for .stl as that is the format in which our model is. In-order to import the model, just
drag and drop the model file into Powermill interface.

This chapter deals with giving an overview of the steps to manufacture the bracket followed by
a detailed explanation of the tools that have been used to prepare the code. The steps required
in each software to generate the required code have been described.



42

5.2.2 CREATING AND SIMULATING THE CODE
Subsection 5.3 describes the entire process used to create the code. It describes the softwares that
are required for the creation of the code. Since this is a custom machine, the code making process
is also customized and various softwares have been used. The steps to be performed in each
software along with screenshots have been given in this section. The various settings required have
also been specified. Every step has been explained in detail.
5.2.3 MOUNTING THE THEMOCOLE BLOCK ONTO THE MACHINE
The dimensions of the object are 300mm,170mm and 88mm in the X,Y and Z directions
respectively. Because of machine limitations, there needs to be extra material of 35mm in the z
direction. The machine has two movable platforms and the lower platform supports the upper
platform. When the upper platform is resting on the lower, the nichrome wire used for slicing is
35mm away from the base of the upper worktable. Hence the extra material. The type of themocole
used here is standard, 22 density and fine grain. It is denser than the one that is commonly used
(density 16). The density is basically the weight in kgs of a 1x1x1 meter block. The size of block
mounted was 320x190x100mm. It is mounted on the upper work table using double sided adhesive
tape.
5.2.4 SELECTING AND MOUNTING OF TOOL
The automatic tool changer can hold 6 tools at a time. The tools are held using a collet and nut
type of tool holder. The maximum diameter of the shank that the holder can hold is 6mm.
For machining themocole, we require two types of tools, one for roughing and the other for
finishing. The tool that we used for roughing is a 10mm end mill cutter. This type of cutter has a
flat bottom and so machining of flat surfaces can be done faster and a larger step over can be used.
The tool used is made of High Speed Steel (HSS). Since we are machining themocole, there is no
special requirement for the material of the tool. The tool that we used was available in the lab.
Only the shank size had to be reduced by grinding to fit it into the tool holder.
The tool that was used for finishing was a ball-nose type with diameter 5mm. a ball-nose type of
tool, as the name indicates has a hemi-spherical end. Instead of a flat end, it has a point end. This
results into better accuracy, and more flexibility in terms of machining profile. Hence it is used as
a finishing cutter.



43

5.2.5 INTERFACE AND TRANSFER OF PROGRAM
The program is transmitted using a cable which has a 25 pin male port at one end and a 9 pin
female port at the other. The 9 pin end is connected to a serial to USB converter (manufactured by
BAFO). Once connected, the machine is put into remote mode and transfer is initiated using
SurfcamDNC. It has been explained in detail in the latter part of this chapter.
5.3 TOOLS USED TO CREATE AND EXECUTE THE CODE
5.3.1 DELCAMPOWERMILL

Figure 5-2: Powermill interface
5.3.1.1 INTRODUCTION TO POWERMILL
Delcam covers many aspects of the product development process within its software portfolio, but
its core focus continues to be on CAM. The companys flagship product, PowerMill, has long been
one of the most advanced systems for machining highly complex 3-axis mould and die type
components, but in recent years the system has evolved and now handles five-axis machining as
well as more routine production machining tasks such as hole drilling, and basic pocketing. [10]



44

5.3.1.2 APPLICATIONS
Typical applications of Powermill include but are not restricted to
Aerospace components
De-featuring models
Repairing holes and gaps
Creating reference surfaces for multi-axis parts
5.3.1.3 TYPICAL STEPS INVOLVED FOR MAKING A PROGRAM IN POWERMILL
The steps have been outlined assuming that the model is ready in a compatible format. The best
option would be to use Delcams in-house software, PowerShape to model components. If that is
not possible, other softwares like Solidworks, Catia or Autocad can be used.
The component has to be sliced into a number of slices, which can be independently machined
using the SOM machine layout. This slicing needs to be done manually.
For our purposes, we wanted a bracket to be machined. This bracket is used to hinge doors to their
frames. The bracket model was obtained from our guide. The model was in the .stl format. The
model was sliced using the create new plane feature in PowerShape and then exported to the
.iges format.
Programs need to be created individually for each slice. For our purposes, the given object was
broken into two slices.

Figure 5-3: Object to be machined (slice 1)

Figure 5-4: Object to be machined (slice 2)
The first slice was imported first. Since we start by machining from the bottom of the slice, the
slice needs to be inverted and a block needs to be defined around it. This is done using the create
block feature select the style as box and then letting it calculate the block automatically. The



45

block gets calculated considering the maximum dimensions of the object along the x, y and z
directions.
Let us define the vector of the object as the line perpendicular to the floor on which the object is
resting upright and pointing upwards.

Figure 5-5: Object vector
Once this gets done, we can see a faint box around the object. The next step is to define the work
plane. We have oriented the first slice such that the bottom is facing up. The z-axis has to be
aligned such that it points out of the object. There is a tree on the left side of the screen, called
Explorer pane with a subtitle work plane. Right click on it and choose create and orient work
plane using center of block. Once you do this, you can see dots at all the important points of the
block. Select the one at the center of the block. Orient the work-plane using the work-plane editor
and such that the z-axis points upwards, the x-axis is along the longer side of the object (as there
is more space available in the x-direction on the machine as compared to the y-direction).
5.3.1.4 DEFINING THE TOOL
Now let us define the tool. The type of tool has to be defined. There are many alternatives, but for
our purposes we define it as either a ball nosed tool or an end mill. The ball nosed tool has a semi-
circular end and is usually used for finishing purposes. The end mill has a flat end and is used for
roughing purposes. Since we are starting the machining we shall select an end mill tool.
The diameter of the tool has to be defined, the one that is available with us has a diameter of 5mm.
define the shank and the holder for the tool and give them appropriate values.
5.3.1.5 MACHINING
Machining themocole is different from machining metal because the tool can be used with lesser
restrictions. It can plunge into themocole without any consequences. The material also need not
be machined completely from the raw block. The tool can be run along the border only, the rest of



46

the block may not be machined. This would separate the object from the rest of the block. But the
separation would not be total. It would be attached to the block at some places. Total separation
would be attached when the block is sliced.
The next step would be to create a boundary. The boundary would be created using a subtitle in
from the same tree. Next, recreate a block using the boundary. The block gets reformed along the
border of the block.
5.3.1.6 SELECTING THE TOOL-PATH STRATEGY
Depending on the type of machining required, there are many machining strategies available in
Powermill. There are 5 main strategy titles available and each in turn has sub-strategies.
The main strategies available are:
1. 2.5D area clearance
2. 3D area clearance
3. Blisks (Blade+Disk)
4. Drilling
5. Finishing
Out of these, 3D area clearance is the most relevant for our job and after that, we shall use a
strategy to finish it.The 3D Area Clearance tab on the Strategy Selector dialog contains the main
strategies for roughing a 3D component. In general, Powermill machines a series of slices at user-
defined Z heights. The tool steps down to a specified Z height and fully clears an area (slice)
before stepping down to the next Z height to repeat the process.
In 3D area clearance, the sub-strategy used is model area clearance. This strategy clears each
slice in 2D and follows the feature profile. Then it steps down and machines the next slice and so
on until everything has been machined. The dialogue box looks as follows



47


Figure 5-6: Settings for rough machining
The parameters of the dialogue box need to be set appropriately. The work plane has to be selected,
the block needs to be selected. The style that we select here is offset all. The step over needs to
be calculated according to the formula: 80% of the cutter diameter.
The thickness box indicates the amount of material which will be left over the component to be
removed while finishing. For our purpose, a thickness of 1mm is sufficient. Fill up the parameters
for speed, feed etc in the dialogue box.
Next, we set up the rapid move heights, this would be the height until which the tool can travel
using a rapid feed rate, and then it slows down to linear interpolation. After setting up all the
parameters, we click on calculate. The program them calculates the tool path. The tool path can be
simulated using Viewmill. Viewmill is a tool which can simulate how the machining operation is
going to take place. Error can be rectified using this tool and the surface finish can be observed to
a certain extent.



48

Once the tool path has been modified and calculated to satisfaction, we proceed to compute the
program.
5.3.1.7 GENERATING THE NC CODE
The code is generated using the following steps.
1. Right click on the tool path in the Explorer Pane.
2. Go to the tool path you have generated and click on activate
3. Once, the tool path is active, you shall see lines along the object which shows the tool paths
4. Right click on the tool path again and select create individual NC programs.
5. This creates indivicudal NC programs.
6. Go back to the NC program sub title in the Explorer pane and right click on the program
that has just been created.
7. You will find an option called settings, click on it, you shall get a window like this:

Figure 5-7: Settings to create the nc code file
8. Change the name of the output file as desired and select the Machine Option File as
Fanuc.opt. The machine option file is decided by the machine on which the code will be
run. For example, if we wish to run the code on a Hermle controller, we choose the
appropriate machine option file. In this particular case, the controller is Fanuc so we need
to use that machine option file.



49

9. Click on accept, the code gets generated as a .tap file.
Let us name this code as code I.
Now import the next slice into the program and delete the previous slice. Keep the origin at the
same point as before. And repeat all the steps that we performed for slice I.
5.3.1.8 CREATING THE FINISHING CODE
The roughing codes that have been created would leave 1mm of material over the finished product.
This would need to be removed using a finishing strategy. Delete the previous toolpath for each
slice. We shall use the same work plane and tool to create the new tool path. Go to machining
strategies, select finishing strategies and select raster finishing. This is a strategy that is commonly
used finish moderately complex geometries.
Follow the same steps to create the finishing code
5.3.1.9 CREATING CODES FOR MACHINING FROM THE TOP
The codes that have been created are would be used for machining the object from the bottom i.e.
machining operation is carried out on the upper worktable.
In order to create the next set of codes, import both the slices, into Powermill and let them remain
upright. This time define the work-plane at the top of the object and repeat the steps above to create
four programs, two for roughing and two for finishing.
Once the 8 codes are ready, you can assimilate them into one common folder.
5.3.2 MICROSOFT NOTEPAD
Microsoft notepad is a word processor that is built into windows. For the purpose of the project, it
is used to generate codes for auxiliary functions and then integrate them into one automatic code
5.3.2.1 AUXILIARY OPERATIONS
Preparing programs is just a part of the entire code generation. There are other operations that need
to be integrated into the code. For the sake of clarity, let us name the 8 codes generated previously
as follows:
I - Rough machining of the first slice from the bottom
II Finish machining of the first slice from the bottom
III Rough machining of the first slice from the top
IV finish machining of the first slice from the top
V Rough machining of the second slice from the bottom



50

VI finish machining of the second slice from the bottom
VII rough machining of the second slice from the top
VIII finish machining of the second slice from the top
In between these programs, lines of code need to be inserted.
5.3.2.2 PREPARING CODES FOR AUXILIARY OPERATIONS
Codes need to be prepared for the following operations and the operations take place in the same
sequence as mentioned:
1. Parking the hot wire such that the metal plate on the ATC can be engaged into the slot.
(This is decided depending on the block and the size of the object being machined)
2. Getting the ATC platform up so that it can support the upper work-table (also referred to
as the brake table)
3. Releasing the brakes and carrying it to the bottom.
4. Locking the brake table at an appropriate height and slicing the block.
5. Releasing the brakes and taking the brake table back up to lock it at its original position
6. The origin of the machine needs to be changed for machining on the bottom worktable.
These are the codes that need to be inserted at appropriate places of the program.
5.3.2.3 MODIFYING PROGRAMS FOR MACHINING FROM THE BOTTOM
The SOM machine is unique in the sense that some part of the machining takes place from the
bottom. In conventional 3-axis machines, the raw material is at the bottom and the tool approaches
from the top. Here along with this, the tool also approaches from the bottom. The programs created
need to be modified to enable this kind of machining.
The modification has to be done for the following programs:
I,II,V and VI.
Our objective can be satisfied by modifying the Z coordinates only. If we interchange the signs of
the Z coordinates, the reflection of the entire object in the upper plane gets machined. The steps
followed are as follows:
1. Use the replace function to replace z- with @
2. Use the replace function to replace z with *.
3. Replace the * with z-
4. Replace the @ with z.



51

We have a program which will machine the object from the bottom.
5.3.2.4 STEPS TO CREATE THE COMPLETE CODE
The following is the complete code to make the automatic code:
1. Set the origin at the center of the themocole block
2. Run the first program
3. Park the ATC in the hot wire slot,take the ATC near the top table and release the brake
4. Take the brake table down till the themocole block touches the bottom table and lock the brake
table
5. Adjust the hot wire at the slicing height and Slice on and slice the themocole block
6. Take the ATC back to coordinates of "5"
7. Release the brake, take the table back up and lock the brakes
8. Take the ATC down sufficiently and park the hot wire in the hot wire slot.
9. Take the ATC to the origin and shift the origin lower (the origin will shift by "the distance
between the top and bottom table (742) - (the thickness of the complete block + the thickness of
the first slice + distance between the two tool tips)"
10. Run the second program
11. Take ATC back to origin.
12. Origin shifts up as compared to the first origin by 10 + Thickness of the first slice (We add 10
because the origin was 5 mm below for the first slice and 5 mm above for the second slice)
13. Run the third program
14. Shift the origin lower to the same coordinates as "9"
15. Take the glue gun to the origin and 5mm along z positive
16. Take glue gun (35, -6) and start glue gun



52

17. Take glue gun 40 mm along x +ve
18. Take glue gun 12mm along y +ve
19. Take glue gun 40mm along x ve
20. Take glue gun 12 mm along y ve
21. Take glue gun to (136.02, -6)
22. 3mm along x +ve
23. 12 mm along y +ve
24. 3mm along x ve
25. 12mm along y ve
26. Reset to original origin
27. Park the ATC in the slot, take the ATC to the top table
28. Release the brakes
29. Take the top table down such that the top slice sticks to the bottom slice (the block rests on the
bottom table) and lock the brakes
30. Adjust hot wire to the height of the second slice
31. Slice on and slice the thermocol block. Go to the coordinates of "6".
32. Take the ATC to coordinates of "9".
33. Release the brakes, take the brake table back up and lock the brakes
34. Come sufficiently down and park the hot wire again.
35. Go to the origin
36. Run the fourth program.



53

37. The component is ready
5.3.3 CIMCO EDIT V5
This is a software that is used to test the code that has been generated. It simulates the code created
and allows editing of the code.[21]

Figure 5-8: Cimco interface
This is the main screen of CIMCO edit V5. Any CNC code can be imported into the program and
checked.
Whenever a program gets generated in PowerMILL, it has a lot of unnecessary lines of code which
are intended for more sophisticated controllers. These lines appear in a different color in CIMCO
and can be edited easily. The screen after importing the code looks as follows



54


Figure 5-9: Simulation of the program on cimco
If you observe the right hand pane of the window above, you can see the complete tool path of
the object that has been machined. The machining has been divided into two portions, the upper
and the lower portion. For the upper portion. The tool approaches from below and for the lower
portion, it approaches from the top.
The feed in the program contains lines for spindle speed and feed rate. This can be deleted because
we are manually over riding the feed. The machine uses a 5 bar air supply from an external
compressor. Running the spindle through the controller distributes the air to the brakes, glue gun
and ATC indexing and locking. This results in a spindle speed of approximately 2000 rpm, which
causes the themocole to disintegrate into particles. When the controller was by-passed and air was
supplied directly to the spindle through an 8mm pipe (instead of 6mm previously), the rpm
obtained was 12,800 per min. The difference is vast because there is no leakage, no distribution
of air and the volume of air flow is higher because of the larger pipe.
So we delete the lines for spindle speed and spindle on. Lines for coolant, offset and coordinate
system are also not required in this particular case.
The feed rate is also different throughout the program. This also needs to be changed as we can
manually control the feed rate to reduce machining time.






55

5.3.4 SURFCAM DNC
This is the software that is used to transmit data from the computer to the machine. Various
parameters need to be set up in the software before a successful transmission of a program takes
place. They have been described in this section.[22]

Figure 5-10: Surfcam dnc interface
This is the home screen of the software that is used for data transmission.
The abbreviations stand for
1. DSR : Data Set Ready
2. RX : Receiving data
3. TX : Transmitting data
The other blocks clearly indicate their function.
Some of the settings need to be changed for proper transmission of program.
Go to configure and make sure the settings match to the block below. In the file specifications
box, the extension of the file should be .ncc and we require both capabilities, download as well as
upload.
In the communications tab, the following settings need to be made:
The study behind each of these has been done during stage 1 of the project.



56


Figure 5-11: Surfcam dnc settings for communication
The COMM port is the port through which communication occurs. This should match with the
settings in the device manager.
The data bits indicate the size of each word. The parity bit indicates the number of 1s in each
word. The line speed is the bit rate, it needs to match with the Baud rate settings in the machine
controller (this is obtained by setting the baud rate as 11 in the controller). Stop bits is the number
of bits used to indicate the end of a word. Handshaking indicates, how data transmission occurs.
Here the setting is Xon/Xoff, this indicates there is a two way communication.
Once the settings have been done, data transmission can take place. Put the machine into remote
mode, there will be a blinking lsk at the right bottom of the screen, and press transmit, the
machine will start the operation. Once the machine begins operation, we need to keep a check on
the air pressure in the air compressor, if it falls below 60 bar, it has been observed that the spindle
slows down and ultimately halts. If it does fall, we halt the operation and wait till the pressure
builds to approximately 80 bar. The entire operation takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.
This is close to the 37 minute approximation provided by PowerMill statistics. The object
obtained after machining is measured using a vernier caliper and the results tabulated.






57

This chapter presents a comparison between the actual object and the CAD model of the
object. It presents the differences in a tabular format. It also presents the observations of the
author and provides adequate justifications for the discrepancies between the actual object
and its CAD model.
6 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION



6.1 COMPARISON BETWEEN THE DIMENSIONS OF THE CAD
MODEL AND THE ACTUAL MODEL

Figure 6-1: Comparison between the cad model and the actual model obtained
Parameters for comparison CAD model Actual object
Height of the object 88mm 86mm
length of the object 300mm 300.2mm
Breadth of the object 170mm 170.8mm
Dimensions of the holes
Holes parallel to the z-axis (3)
Hole parallel to the y-axis (1)

10mm
20mm

10.6mm
18.7mm
Surface appearance Smooth without undulations Grainy
Table 6-1: dimensional and surface comparison of cad model and machined object
6.2 OBSERVATIONS
As you can observe from the table, the object has been reduced along the z-direction and expanded
along the x and y directions. There are many reasons for this, the most significant is that as the
upper table comes down, its weight rests on the lower slice, this causes compression along the z-
direction and expansion in the x and y directions. The holes that are parallel to the z-axis are larger



58

because the cutter cannot cut smoothly, because of variations in rpm, there is a possibility of grains
being uprooted from the material, thiscauses more material to be removed.
The error in the y-direction hole is because of slicing, gluing and the compression along the z-axis.
Since apparatus for measuring surface roughness is not available, we have visually observed the
surface finish. The cutter is not meant for themocole cutting and hence the surface finish is grainy.
Another observation is that the central rib is 1.5mm off center. This is again a consequence of
coupling error and machine instability
6.3 JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE INACCURACIES
6.3.1 COUPLING ERROR
The construction of the machine has been described in the first chapter. It is stated in the first
chapter that lead screws are connected to the motors using couplings. We have observed that
inspite of fixing it tightly, the couplings tend to get loose over time. In order to prevent this they
have to be observed after every few machining cycles. Loosening of the coupling can cause
slipping which can cause incorrect movement of the axes.
6.3.2 MATERIAL ADDITION DUE TO GLUING
When the two slices are glued together, a thin layer of glue is applied between the slices, this
causes an increase in height of the object, if there are more slices, the problem gets compounded.
So we need to adjust the feed rate of the glue gun. The adjustment needs to be such that height
addition due to gluing and cutting loss due to heating cancel out each other.
6.3.3 HEATING LOSS
When themocole is sliced using a nichrome wire, cutting can occur in two ways. The first one is
because of the mechanical movement of the wire, which is also called contact cutting. The second
one is because of the heat from the wire, also called non-contact cutting. In our case, the wire
moves sufficiently slowly, so the wire has enough time to heat up. Consequently, cutting primarily
occurs due to heat, i.e. non-contact. The amount of themocole burnt in the process depends on the
density of the themocole and the current through the wire. More current through the wire causes
greater heat generation, and higher density themocole causes lesser cutting loss. This is because



59

low density themocole has more air in it and hence a greater amount of oxygen is available for a
more complete combustion. It has been experimentally observed that for a density 22, the cutting
loss is 1.5mm on an average.
6.3.4 MACHINE INSTABILITY
The SOM machine is primarily for manufacturing themocole and as such, high rigidity is not a
requirement. However, over time, because of lack of maintenance and regular usage, the machine
tends to wobble at its joints. This as well causes dimensional inaccuracies in the object being
machined.
6.3.5 OPTIMUM FEED AND SPINDLE SPEED
The spindle speed that we use is 12,500 rpm and the feed rate is 4mm/second. If this combination
is used, the amount of vibration is minimal and it results into smooth operation of the machine.
However, the compressor for air supply is old and does not supply the required 5 bar pressure
continuously, this causes the rpm to fluctuate. This primarily has an effect on the surface finish of
the themocole.
6.3.6 VIBRATION DUE TO ECCENTRIC CUTTER SHANK, BECAUSE OF MANUAL
GRINDING
The cutter that is used to machine themocole is usually used to machine metal. The cutter is not
specifically used for themocole. The tool has inertia which can result in lower rpms. The shank
has been reduced using manual grinding, consequently the shank is eccentric. This causes
vibrations while spinning. There is a new cutter under development, specifically for thermocol and
made out of abs plastic and paper cutting blade.








60

7 CONCLUSION AND FUTURE SCOPE
This chapter explains the entire project in brief. It provides reasons as to why the SOM machine
is a better alternative to the machines available in the market. It gives a brief overview about
various tasks completed during the course of the project. Finally it gives scope for future work
in the project.
7.1 CONCLUSION
In a field dominated by expensive machines and long build times, this machine offers an
alternative. The machine uses high density expanded polystyrene (themocole) as raw material to
manufacture objects. Although the environmental sustainability of themocole is debatable since
it is not bio-degradable, it is useful as a material for patterns. The pattern ultimately is burnt when
used to create castings.
The machine had been completely down since at least 3 years and non-operational. The idea of
the machine was quite novel and there was much scope for work. The first task of the authors was
to get the machine operational with all its systems functioning. The initial 6 months were spent in
getting the machine into operational state and repairing or replacing components of the machine.
Over the course of multiple meetings with the Fanuc controller expert, and his associates, a study
was done on how to make system changes in the controller. For example, setting the home position
of the controller. Changing the unit system of the machine into inches or mm, how to make
changes in tool numbering, how to set up movement limits on the axis etc. once the machine was
operational, the next task was to check if it functions normally. The function of slicing was tested
and it was discovered not to be working satisfactorily, the nichrome wire was changed, a spring
was installed to make the wire tight and resistances were added to control the temperature of the
wire.
The next task was to check the gluing, the glue gun was not functional because glue had leaked
out of the gun and spread jammed it. The glue gun was heated and cleaned to remove all the old
glue. The glue gun is required glue beads to be fed and pneumatic pressure to work. The problem
with the glue gun was that once it started to release glue, it did not stop, it required a back pressure
to stop the flow of glue, the back pressure was provided through a silencer, which was again



61

jammed with glue, we cleaned up the port and fixed a new silencer and the glue gun started to
work.
The upper platform (as described in the construction of the machine) supports a work table. The
work table was not in alignment with the lower worktable. As a result, the amount of work area
available became limited to the intersection of the lower and the upper work table. This was
changed by drilling new holes into the upper frame.
The positioning of the glue gun also needed to be changed. Initially it was on the other side of the
ATC. Because of this positioning, the glue gun could not cover the entire area of the worktable.
This problem was sorted by bringing the glue gun on the same side as the ATC. The glue gun had
to be attached using a steel plate to fix it rigidly.
The next task was to perform interfacing. Interfacing required a good amount of study and all the
relevant details have been presented in the first stage. With a tweak, the transmission of through
a USB (universal serial bus) was enabled.
The next stage of the report involved learning all the tools to generate a completely automatic
code. Learning Powermill took a major chunk of efforts. Powermill is a software used for 3 axis
as well as 5 axis machining. An appropriate machining strategy was chosen and programs were
created. The codes for auxiliary codes were made manually and added to the Powermill generated
code using notepad. The code was then tested using Cimco.
The resulting code ran smoothly and the object obtained was approximately as per specifications.
The algorithm that has been made as part of this project is applicable only to this object and scaled
versions of it.
7.2 FUTURE SCOPE
The author has accomplished a significant milestone in the project by getting the machine to
working condition and creating an object completely automatically. However, there is scope for
further work as follows:
- Create a general algorithm which can create and execute automatic code for any random
object. The current code works for this object and scaled versions of it.
- The cutter used is a milling cutter and not designed for thermocol cutting. A customized cutter
made of ABS plastic and paper cutting blade would improve rpms (be reducing weight) and
may further improve surface finish.



62

- Usage of higher air pressure would enable quicker operations and higher rpms but this would
require replacing the air pipes
- The size of the prototype that can be built is limited by the size of the machine. A larger
machine would enable the building of larger prototypes.
























63

REFERENCES
[1] Rajput,R.K.,2007, A textbook of manufacturing technology, Firewall Media, India
[2] Colton,J.S.,2011,Casting processes, ME4210, Manufacturing processes and equipment:
Georgia Institute of Technology, Retrieved from URL
http://www-old.me.gatech.edu/jonathan.colton/me4210/casting.pdf
viewed on 1 November 2013
[3] Yilmaz,Oguzhan.,2012,Rapid Prototyping Techniques, Retrieved from URL
http://www1.gantep.edu.tr/~oyilmaz/Lecture%20Notes/ME%20482/Rapid%20Prototypi
ng%20Processes%20and%20Operations.pdf
viewed on 5 November 2013
[4] Karunakaran,K.P,Alain Bernard,Ranjeet Kumar,Sachin M. Lokhande, Pratik
Soni,2013,Prototype Casting, Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping
(VRAP), Portugal.
[5] Ganesh patterns workshop, Pune
[6] Croma Foam Processing Technologies,1984,Stratoconcept, Retrieved from URL
http://www.croma-foamcutter.com/1-3-156-595/Stratoconcept.htm
viewed on 3 January 2013
[7] Thomas, C.L., Gaffney,T.M.,Kaza, C.S.,Lee,C.H,1996,Rapid Prototyping of large scale
aerospace structures,Aerospace Applications Conference, Proceedings,IEEE Volume:4
[8] Ahn D.G., Lee S.H., Yang D.Y.,2002,Investigation into development of progressive-type
variable lamination manufacturing using expandable polystyrene foam and its
apparatus, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of
Engineering Manufacture,Vol 216, pp.1239-1252
[9] Broek J .J, Horvath I., Smit B. D., Lennings A. F., Rusak Z. &Vergeest J.S.M.,2002,
Free-form thick layer object manufacturing technology for large sized Physical models,
Automation in Construction, Vol 11, pp.335-347.
[10] PowerMILL help files, Delcam plc. 2014
[11] MxCAD,3D Area clearance, Retrieved from URL
http://www.mxcad.com/powermill/main-toolbar/3d-area-clearance
viewed on 8 April 2014



64

[12] PowerMILL training course, 2011
[13] K.P.Karunakaran, PankajVengurlekar, Vishal Pushpa,R. Kovacevic,2005,Simplified
production of large prototypes using visible slicing,Proceedings of Symposium,
University of Texas at Austin
[14] K.P.Karunakaran, Saurabh Agarwal, Pankaj Vengurlekar, OnkarSahasrasbude, Vishal
Pushpa, 2007, Segmented Object Manufacturing ,IIE Transaction,Vol 37, Issue 4.
[15] GFZ-64144EN/01 Fanuc operator manual
[16] Wikipedia,2010,Universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter, Retrieved from URL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_asynchronous_receiver/transmitter
viewed on 12 November 2013
[17] Schweber,1992,Data communications, Tata McGraw-Hill Education ,India ,pp. 257.
[18] Himpe Vincent,2006,Visual Basic for Electronics Engineering Applications, Elektor
Electronics, USA ,pp. 16.3-250
[19] B-64120EN/01 Fanuc Parameter manual
[20] Solid works help files, DassaultSystmes SolidWorks 1995-2014
[21] Cimco,2012,Cimco edit V5 user guide, Cimco integration
[22] Surfcam DNC Help files, Vero Software














65

AUTHORS PUBLICATIONS
1. Pratik Soni, R.R.Lekurwale,2014,Complete Automation Of Machining Cycle For A
Particular Object And The Algorithm, Proceedings of International Conference on
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Institute of Research and Journals(IRAJ), Pune, India
2. Karunakaran.K.P,Alain Bernard,Ranjeet Kumar,Sachin M. Lokhande, Pratik
Soni,2013,Prototype Casting, Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping
(VRAP), Portugal.

































66

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I feel privileged to express my heartiest thanks and gratitude to My Family and Prof.
R.R.Lekurwale for their valuable guidance, encouragement, throughout the course of project
work. Their constant endeavours, cooperation in implementing project and analyzing results
helped me a lot in completing my project.
I want to thank Prof. Dr. K.P.Karunakaran (Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Department, IIT-Bombay) for giving me this opportunity of doing this project. I also want to
thank Mr. B. Ravi (CNC Controller Expert) for his valuable guidance.
I am grateful to Prof. Ramola Sinha, Head of Department Mechanical Engineering for
providing necessary facilities in the department.
Finally I would like to thank all staff at IIT-Bombay and KJSCE who have directly or
indirectly helped me to successfully complete the project.




Pratik R. Soni