Validating CAD Translation Accuracy Prior to Machining

An add-on to Verisurf or Mastercam, this product quickly compares translated CAD models to an OEM’s authority models to determine translation accuracy.

Article From: 5/10/2012 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Validating CAD model translations before defining NC tool paths enables manufacturers to quickly identify translation errors, reducing the potential for scrap or rework.

OEMs such as Boeing recognize the potential for translation errors in 3D model-based definition environments. In an effort to prevent translation errors, Boeing has established its D6-51991 “Quality Assurance Standard for Digital Product Definition” that outlines requirements for its suppliers’ digital product definition quality control systems. Suppliers must provide process documentation that proves the accuracy of all translated CAD models compared to the OEM’s authority CAD model. This avoids NC programming, machining or inspection errors that could occur as a result of translation errors when a Boeing-supplied CAD model is brought into a non-native CAD/CAM system.

Metrology software developer Verisurf (Anaheim, California) has developed its Validate product to comply with Boeing’s D6-51991 and other similar OEM standards. Available as a fully integrated add-on to any Verisurf or Mastercam license, Validate is designed to quickly compare translated models to authority models. According to the company, validating CAD model translations before users define NC tool paths or initiate CAD-based inspection routines reduces the potential for scrap or rework. The software offers customizable validation tolerance criteria, while support for many major CAD formats minimizes the number of CAD licenses a user must have on-hand.

Integrated within Verisurf or Mastercam, Validate runs after a single mouse click. Upon execution, the software automatically generates a global point cloud with a user-definable grid density on all imported (translated) model surfaces. Its comparison engine then compares these point locations to their corresponding surface projections on the native CAD file. The software precisely calculates any deviation from nominal and compares these to the acceptable tolerance limits set by the operator. If all deviations from nominal are within the limits, the software displays a graphical “pass” indicator and provides the capability to review the results report it automatically creates.

Validate supports Mastercam, Solidworks, Inventor, Parasolid, STEP and IGES file formats. Additional translators are required for importing Catia V4/V5, Unigraphics/NX and Pro/Engineer files into Validate. A Validate Lite version is also available that supports Mastercam, STEP and IGES formats.

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