Page 36 - MetalForming January 2015
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                3D Laser-Cutting Process
  Digital Data
In addition to laser-cutting produc- tivity gains through the use of Tebis software, Winkler also notes improve- ments in cut quality and in eliminating extra and excessive laser-head move- ment. This adds up to minimal, if any, secondary operations to clean up cut edges, and reduces maintenance con- cerns with the cutting equipment.
“Compared to other CAM programs that triangulate the data to derive cut paths,” says Winkler, who has been pro- gramming Accu-Rite’s lasers since the firm brought the technology inhouse in 1998, “Tebis uses digital data. This pro- vides greatly improved blending of data points. So, our cuts look better and edge quality is optimized—we rarely if ever have to post-cut sand or machine the cut edges before shipping the parts off to our customers.
“Also, the laser-cutting machines run smoothly, with no head whipping or excessive movement, thanks to the built-in knowledge in the Tebis data-
While most of Accu-Rite’s prototypes are of high-strength steel, its volume of aluminum stampings has been on the rise. Here, programmer Mike Winkler points out some of the tricky contours the five-axis laser-cutting machines must navigate. The Tebis CAM soft- ware helps to ensure that the process meets the required tight tolerances on cut angle and edge quality.
base. The software, for example, auto- matically monitors the cutting machine’s kinematic properties, includ- ing tilting limits and preferred start- ing position. This not only allows it to calculate minimal yet sufficient eva-
sive movements to avoid collisions, but also to minimize head movement. This increases run time while helping to reduce the amount of maintenance we have to perform on the cutting machines.” MF
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