An integrated web-based CAD/CAPP/CAM system for the remote design and manufacture of feature-based cylindrical parts

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Abstract

This work describes the implementation of an integrated web-based CAD/CAPP/CAM system for the remote design and manufacture of feature-based cylindrical parts. This system, called WebMachining (http://webmachining.alvarestech.com), was developed in an e-manufacturing context, and the use of features allows the integration among the activities of collaborative design (WebCADbyFeatures), generative process planning (WebCAPP) and manufacturing (WebTurning). Through the WebCADby Features agent-based collaborative design module, cylindrical parts are modeled based on the synthesis of design features, in a Concurrent Engineering context. The WebCAPP generative CAPP module maps design features into machining features (including turning, milling, and drilling), and the mapping considers the setup, geometry, and operation. It uses a data structure similar to STEP-NC, and the generated process plans are nonlinear (i.e. they have alternatives). The WebTurning module performs the remote manufacture of the part, and it is based on a client–server architecture, where: (a) the servers are represented by the programs located at a workstation (Linux platform), which are connected to the machine tool through an Ethernet network interface; (b) the client is represented by a Java Applet. Some examples are provided in this paper, illustrating the remote design, process planning and manufacture of parts in a CNC turning center.

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