CGTech’s Vericut Composite Paths for Engineering (VCPe) provides composite part designers, mechanical engineers and process engineers with the same software tools as NC programmers for creating NC program paths that are subsequently used in the workshop to lay-up a composite part.
The software reads CATIA V5, NX, STEP and ACIS surface models. It also reads FiberSim, CATIA V5, NX, and other external-ply geometry and information. Material can be added to fill the plies according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. Layup paths are linked together to form specific layup sequences.
According to the company, the software enables the part designer or engineer to create and experiment with various automated fiber placement (AFP) path options and evaluate the effects of AFP manufacturing on composite parts’ design. Experiments to determine a part’s producability can be performed before the design has been sent to manufacturing and before knowing what type of AFP equipment will be used, the company says.
By producing actual AFP tape courses that can be used to program AFP fabrication equipment in the workshop, the user can measure and evaluate the effects of AFP path trajectory, material steering, surface curvature, course convergence and other process constraints as they would be applied in manufacturing. The software also provides producibility analysis of the fiber angle based on the curvature of the part, and overlap and gaps needed for structural analysis. Tape course geometry can be written to various CAD formats for further evaluation by the user’s existing analysis methods and tools.