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ABSTRACT: In the metal cutting industry, a large amount of time is often spent on data exchange, NC tool path generation and NC program preparation. To reduce the production cycle, the CAD model should be represented in a neutral format so that it can be readily used in CAM and the tool path should be automatically generated from the neutrally documented CAD model. The emerging STEP data exchange standard provides such a neutral format which is independent of any software and hardware. This paper reports the development of a STEP based tool path generation system for rough machining of planar surfaces. The system includes four components: a data extraction module, a volume slicing module, a CL file generation module and an NC code generator. The proposed system has been implemented in a UNIGRAPHICS CAD/CAM environment. The application of the system is illustrated using an example part.
Computers in Industry. 12/1996;