Fast Interference-Checking Algorithm for Automated Fixture-Design Verification
Fixtures are tooling devices used to locate, support, and hold workpieces during a manufacturing process. The major purpose of a computer-aided fixture design (CAFD) system is to provide a fixture design based on fixturing principle and workpiece information. Interference checking between the machining tool and fixture units, as well as between fixture units, is one of the important performances of fixture design. Once the fixture configu ration design is generated with CAFD, interference checking should be em ployed. Interference checking is an important aspect of fixture-design veri fication. Although there is an interference-checking function provided in most CAD systems, it may require a significant amount of time because there may be many fixture components involved in a modular-fixture design. In this study, the interference between the workpiece and fixture components is conducted by applying the interference-checking function between solids within CAD systems, as only one workpiece is involved in the iteration process. Because the geometry of modular-fixture components can be sim plified into simple shapes and their combinations, a rapid interference-check ing algorithm is studied for detecting possible interference between the ma chining cutter and the fixture components.