Virtual machining is the practice of using computers to simulate and model the use of machine tools for part manufacturing. Such activity replicates the behavior and errors of a real environment in virtual reality systems. This can provide useful ways to manufacture products without physical testing on the shop floor. As a result, time and cost of part production can be decreased.
Geometry of cutting tools can be analyzed and modified as a result of simulated cutting forces in virtual environments. Thus, machining time as well as surface roughness can be minimized and tool life can be maximized due to decreasing cutting forces by modified geometries of cutting tools. Also, the modified versions of cutting tool geometries with regards to minimizing cutting forces can decrease cost of cutting tools by presenting a wider range of acceptable materials for cutting tools such as high-speed steel, carbon tool steels, cemented carbide, ceramic, cermet and et al.
The generated heat in engagement areas of cutting tool and workpiece can be simulated, analyzed, and decreased. Tool life can be maximized as a result of decreasing generated heat in engagement areas of cutting tool and workpiece.
Machining strategies can be analyzed and modified in virtual environments in terms of collision detection processes.
3D vision of machining operations with errors of actual machined parts and tool deflection error in virtual environments can help designers as well as machining strategists to analyze and modify the process of part production.
Virtual machining can augment the experience and training of novice machine tool operators in a virtual machining training system.
Some suggestions for the future studies in virtual machining systems are presented as:
Machining operations of new alloy can be simulated in virtual environments for study. As a result, deformation, surface properties and residue stress of new alloy can be analyzed and modified.
New material of cutting tool can be simulated and analyzed in virtual environments. Thus, tool deflection error of new cutting tools along machining paths can be studied without the need of actual machining operations.
Deformation and deflections of large workpieces can be simulated and analyzed in virtual environments.
Machining operations of expensive materials such as gold as well as super alloys can be simulated in virtual environments to predict real machining conditions without the need of shop floor testing.
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