Product Code: PIC06_M401

A User-friendly Simulation Tool to Facilitate Writing of Complex Part Programs for Laser Micromachining
Richard Hume, IRIS, Swinburne Univ. of Technology; Deepdene, Victoria Australia
Jason Hayes, IRIS, Swinburne Univ. of Technology; Hawthorn, Victoria Australia
Pio Iovenitti, IRIS, Swinburne Univ. of Technology; Hawthorn, Victoria Australia
Presented at PICALO 2006

Excimer micromachining tools used to produce micromachined parts are often controlled by manually written numerical control (NC) part programs in RS-274 "G" and "M" codes, or NC-code. The manual creation of the part programs in NC-code is a time-consuming process for users and relies on their expertise. This often results in a trial-and-error approach to producing a part program for the desired shape because a user rarely gets it 'right the first time'. Furthermore, writing programs to machine complex microstructures is difficult. As few CAD/CAM tools are available to assist programming for laser micromachining, the aim of the research was to develop a user-friendly CAM tool to assist programmers. A simulation tool has been written to interpret a part program and to display the intended part. With this simulation tool, the part programmer works more effectively by being able to view the machined surface and check the program using the simulation tool before trialling it on an expensive laser machine. The simulator allows the user to easily modify and retry a program during its development. The simulator provides a number of debugging features to enable the user to step through the program and determine what is happening at each instruction. The capability of the simulator tools is demonstrated through several part programs.

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