RE: STL-based engineering and tooling

From: Tom.DeBruyne@materialise.be
Date: Tue Mar 18 2003 - 13:50:26 EET


Dear STL professionals,
 
Can the STL format be used for ENGINEERING? The answer is that this is a
daily reality.
 
For RAPID PROTOTYPING, STL is used for AUTOMATIC SUPPORT GENERATION and
SLICING.
For COMPUTER AIDED MACHINING, STL like facet formats are used for NC
calculation.
For FINITE ELEMENT and FLOW ANALYSIS applications, many packages start from
STL facet files to make virtual predictions on material behavior.
For PRODUCT COMMUNICATION, many applications are based on the STL format
because it's so easy to exchange.
For TOOLING, Materialise is using STL on a daily basis for AUTOMATED TOOL
DESIGN.
 
STL as a digital CAD format is probably less suited for CREATIVE design, but
is a powerful format for DESIGN AUTOMATION or MANUFACTURING CAD.
Having a single entity like an STL triangle is a weak start to create an
object from scratch. However, because of this single entity description,
design automation algorithms are usually solid and easy to implement.
 
When it comes to TOOLING, a rationalization of the tool design process can
be made:
 
1. The PART that has to be made is the cavity. However, the tool has to be
created around it.
2. In a first stage, PARTING PLANES are AUTOMATICALLY created.
3. In a second stage CORE & CAVITY are automatically created.
4. Next DRAFT ANGLES are automatically implemented and the gating, ejection
and cooling system are added in 2,5D.
5. The UNDERCUTS which are automatically created are in 3D converted in
functional sliders.
6. ELECTRODES are automatically created.
7. The tool HOUSING is selected and joined with the other tooling elements.
 
Using STL for automating tool design, means that the above workflow is
geometry independent. If it works for a simple box part, it will also work
for all the other complex designs. The reason is that all geometries are
reduced to triangle entities and automation software becomes reliable for
all kinds of geometries.
 
Materialise and Materialise customers make tools on a daily basis, using the
MAGICS TOOLING software.
Most tools are designed within 1 to 2 hours. Single cavity tools with 1 or 2
slides are usually ready within 30 minutes. Importing and splitting a part
takes usually less than 5 minutes.
 
As a conclusion, STL for tool design is NOT a far dream but indeed a daily
reality. STL Digital CAD opened new doors for CAM, FE and RP. Now it's
proving to take the monkey work out of tool design too.
 
Tom De Bruyne
Materialise NV
www.materialise.com <http://www.materialise.com>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Chang-Shik Min [mailto:mcs9413@dreamwiz.com]
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 8:00 AM
To: rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi
Subject: STL-based engineering and tooling

 Dear RP professionals,

Hello...how are you doing everyone ?
I have a dream that we can do everything from engineering to
production,based on STL data only. I think,if this dream come true,what they
called,digital engineering or tooling can be smoothly on the track.
As a RT research engineer,I,however,have a doubt that there may be some
other problems for STL to be major data format for digital engineering due
to STL's intrinsic limit,though many obstacles have not been fully found
yet.

RP professionals,can you share your honest opinons on the future of
STL-based engineering and tooling with me ?
I am in a desperate need of your precious comments.

Thanks in advance.

Rapidly yours,
C.S.Min

============== Nothing ventured,Nothing gained! ================

Chang-Shik,Min (Chief Research Engineer)

Design Engg. Gr.,LG-Production engineering Research Center
LG Electronics Inc.,19-1 Cheongho-Ri,Jinwuy-Myon
Pyungtaek(451-713),Republic of Korea.

[Phone] +82-31-660-7090(Office),+82-31-202-8009(Home)
[Mobile] +82-19-370-7424
[Fax] +82-31-660-7384
[e-mail] mcs9413@dreamwiz.com,mcs9413@lge.com
         mcs9413@hotmail.com

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