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How do automation-based companies do full machine [kinematic] simulations and trajectory planning?

How do automation-based companies do full machine [kinematic] simulations and trajectory planning?

How do automation-based companies do full machine [kinematic] simulations and trajectory planning?

(OP)
Automation based companies are far and many. This ranges from CNC machinery, to articulated industrial robots, to custom automation systems.

Sometimes you see these companies offer some kind of full machine simulation that are either merely as a visual demonstration in a presentation or if advanced enough even offered to end-users to visualize the motion involved in their own modifiable applications.

For the CNC area (such as typical 3, 4 or 5 axis machines) there are many software companies that offer this kind of capability in the form of CAM packages. So the 3D simulation and the motion trajectory planning are all done in-house (?). Some industrial robot manufacturers may offer their own software for their robots or models so people can play with it in autodesk suites etc (?).

What is the general method these companies use for creating full machine kinematic simulations? Also how do they do the trajectory planning? Is it commonly the case for all 3D simulations and trajectory planning of their robots to be done in-house (so they have a team of programmers)? Or do they rely on other commercial 3D simulation software such as Autodesk 3ds etc?

An example is, if a company is offering a custom multi-axis and multi-degrees of freedom machine that grinds the flutes of an end mill, how do they go about programming the machining and doing the machine simulation?

RE: How do automation-based companies do full machine [kinematic] simulations and trajectory planning?

CAM packages will typically provide a visual simulation for path verification. Take a look at the MasterCam website.
Robotics Offline Programming packages the same. e.g., I am resller of a robotics OLP package called RobotWorks that provides path verification & simulation.
Higher-end CAD packages sometimes offer a motion simulation function to define how individual components can move in relation to each other for the purpose of motion simulation (e.g., SolidWorks Motion Manager).

Trajectory planning , in it's strictest definition, is a completely different issue entirely.

CAM packages will develop the path for you, or perform the path you specify.
Robotics OLP will develop the path points you specify from CAD model features such as edges, faces, and projected sketches on surface. The robot controller will develop the path trajectory to move the Tool Center Point through the path points. Some of the higher-end OLP packages include a trajectory generator that mimics what the controller will calculate, thus giving reasonably accurate cycle times.

After simulation, then CAM/CNC programs, or robot path programs, are output from the respective packages for running on the shop floor.

My opinion is that YES is primarily done in-house for machinery design firms. There are companies that provide this as a service, so there must be a market for this service.

TygerDawg
Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering
www.bluetechnik.com

RE: How do automation-based companies do full machine [kinematic] simulations and trajectory planning?

There is a package that I am now using called MechDesigner. It allows you to simulate complete machines, with many axes or mechanisms, generally packaging or assembly machines, using full kinematic solutions rather than just 'solver' based solutions, with motion designs assigned to the relevant axes with inverse kinematics to derive cams or servo mtoions, and some solid modelling to check for collisions.
It is NOT intended for CNC simulation - or is it particularly good for 3D motion planning. It is possible but it doesn't seem to lend itself to it. I have talked with the supplier, and they have plans for 3d motion planning though. To me, it is allowing me to design quite complex machines and simulate at quite high speeds to give realistic machine operations.

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