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Six-axis articulated robots from KUKA Robots

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article image The six-axis articulated robot

KUKA Robotics@Marand Precision Engineering, providers of KUKA Robots , offer six-axis articulated robots that are suitable for many applications as they offer a large working envelope, manoeuvrability and high repeatability.

The six axis robot is a suitable tool for machining complex three-dimensional paths and free-form surfaces, such as those required for shaped models or for prototyping.

Robots provide a cheaper and viable alternative to a 5-axis machining centre, where high accuracy or high density materials are not a requirement.

Compared with linear units, jointed-arm robots retain a higher oscillation tendency due to their kinematics and are suitable for machining plastics, composites, wood and moulding materials. They are also suitable for one-off parts and small series production.

Areas particularly suited to robotic machining are the shipping, mould, model, wood and furniture industries as well as the arts, entertainment, advertising, theatre and movie industries, where diverse moulds and models are often needed.

3D CAD is employed to model products using common systems such as Pro/Engineer, Unigraphics, Solid-Works, SolidEdge and Inventor.

Alternatively, a digitally scanned item can be reverse engineered. CAM will use the 3D model to make calculations based on the difference between the raw part and the finished part.

Common CAM systems include:

  • HyperMill
  • SolidCAM
  • Mastercam

The connection between CAD and CAM is achieved through standard interfaces like IGES, STEP, VDAFS or through the direct use of original model files. This depends on the combination of CAD/CAM as some CAM systems are fully integrated into CAD, while others are stand-alone systems.

Specialist software such as the CAMRob from KUKA Robotics is used as a kind of postprocessor, expanded to include process visualisation functions and 3D sequence simulation.

The CAMRob reads CAM data in a DIN standard data format, for example created by a CAD/CAM system from common design and drawing programs, and uses the data to generate a robot program.

The CAMRob allows:

  • Import of CNC files
  • Automatic support of turntable and linear axis
  • Embedded in KUKA-SIM for simulation and visualisation of the milling process and milling cell
  • Collision detection
  • Singularity check
  • Support of tool change

KUKA Robots and CAMRob are available in Australia from Marand Precision Engineering.

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