Dynamic fixture planning in virtual environments

Thumbnail Image
Kang, Xiu Mei
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Computer-aided fixture planning (CAFP) is an essential part of Computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) integration. Proper fixture planning can dramatically reduce the manufacturing cost, the lead-time, and labor skill requirements in product manufacturing. However, fixture planning is a highly experience-based activity. Due to the extreme diversity and complexity of manufacturing workpieces and processes, there are not many fixture planning tools available for industry applications. Moreover, existing CAFP methods rarely consider integrating fixture environmental factors into fixture planning. Automatic fixture planning using VR can provide a viable way for industries. This thesis develops automated approaches to fixture planning in a virtual environment (VE). It intends to address two important issues: automatic algorithms for fixture planning, and the VE to support high fidelity evaluation of fixture planning. The system consists of three parts including fixture assembly planning, feasibility analysis of assembly tools, and motion planning for fixture loading and unloading. The virtual fixture planning system provides the fixture designer a tool for fixture planning and evaluation. Geometrical algorithms are developed to facilitate the automatic reasoning. A Web-based VE for fixture planning is implemented. The three-dimensional (3D) model visualization enables the fixture simulation and validation effectively to investigate existing problems. Approaches to construct desktop-based large VEs are also investigated. Cell segmentation methods and dynamic loading strategies are investigated to improve the rendering performance. Case studies of virtual building navigation and product assembly simulations are conducted. The developed algorithms can successfully generate the assembly plan, validate the assembly tools, and generate moving paths for fixture design and applications. The VE is intuitive and sufficient to support fixture planning, as well as other virtual design and manufacturing tasks.
Computer-aided fixture planning, Assembly planning, Motion planning, Tool feasibility analysis, Virtual environment
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2010. Data integration from product design to assembly planning in a collaborative environment. International Journal of Manufacturing Research 5(1): 120-137.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2009. Recent Research on Computer-Aided Fixture Planning. Recent Patents on Mechanical Engineering 2(1): 8-18.
Peng, Q.-J.., X.-M. Kang, T.-T. Zhao. 2009. Effective VR-based building navigation using dynamic loading and path optimization. International Journal of Automation and Computing 6(4): 335-343. DOI: 10.1007/s11633-009-0335-9.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2008. Fixture assembly planning in a Web-based collaborative environment. International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Service 1(2): 176-193.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2008. Fixture feasibility: methods and techniques for fixture planning. Computer-aided design and applications 5(1-4): 424-433.
Kang, X. and Q. Peng. 2006. The improvement of VE performance using cell segmentation. Proceedings of the 16th CIRP International Design Seminar. July 16-19, Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2008. Tool feasibility analysis for fixture assembly planning. Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME 130(4): 0410101-9.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2008. Computer-aided fixture planning: a review. Proceedings of the ASME 2008 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences (IDETC/CIE2008) 5: 209-218. August 3-6, New York City, NY, USA.
Kang, X., Q. Peng. 2007. Analysis of tool accessibility in fixture setup planning, Proceedings of the ASME 2007 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Com-puters and Information in Engineering Conferences (IDETC/CIE2007) 4: 1007-16. Sep-tember 4-7, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.