On October 1-2, 2008, the STEP Manufacturing team (ISO TC184 SC4 WG3 T24) met at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, in Hartford, Connecticut to demonstrate and discuss advanced uses of the STEP-NC AP238 standard. The highlight of the meeting was the live 5-axis machining of a titanium impeller.
Participants in the machining demonstration and other activities included Boeing, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Concepts NRec, DMG, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Mitutoyo, NIST, Sandvik Coromant, Scania, Siemens, and STEP Tools.
The meeting was very productive. We were able to show that we can mill an impeller using STEP-NC files containing models of the product, process, fixtures and cutting tools. We showed how the new information can enable on-machine feed-speed and tool life optimization, and we showed how the product tolerance information in STEP-NC can be used to implement closed loop machining using measurement devices such as probes and Faro arms.
The complete flow of the machining, measurement, and feedback is shown below (click for full size):