CAD/CAM COMPATIBLE, TOOL-ORIENTED PROCESS PLANNING FOR MACHINING CENTERS
This thesis describes a methodology for developing an automated process planning system for machining centers. The proposed approach is compatible with the existing CAD/CAM technologies in that the computer automated process planning (CAPP) system can take certain input workpiece descriptions directly from a computer-aided design (CAD) system, and its output process plans are easily converted to "numerical control commands". The process planning system produces practical process plans taking into account the availability of existing cutting tools. There is no need for manual parts classification or coding. The process planning logic is based on the concept of "elementary machined surface (EMS)" and utilizes a sequential decision making procedure. An EMS is a unit machined surface generated by a "simple" machining operation. Machining requirements (i.e., EMS's) are identified by using a syntactic pattern recognition method. A linked-list data structure is used as an internal representation of a "machined surface" (e.g, Hole, Slot, and Pocket).
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