Compensation of shape deviations during laser beam cutting using CAD models

One of the current research projects at the LZH aims at making laser beam cutting of 3D sheet metal components more costeffective and precise by increasing the degree of automation. Strategies are being developed for the user to be able to prepare the manufacturing process more efficiently. The system can be viewed at the EuroBlech trade fair in Hannover (October 24-28, 2006) at booth C 21 in hall 12.

Experience gained by small and medium-sized companies show that especially shape deviations of deep drawn sheet metal components conditional of manufacturing often require timeconsuming manual corrections of the cutting tool’s travel paths programmed offline on the basis of an ideal CAD model. This applies also to deformations taking place during the laser cutting process. Thus, the project aims at developing a computerassisted process that enables an automatic correction of the laser cutting head’s travel paths by an innovative analysis of the deviations between the real component and the corresponding CAD model.

For this purpose, however, the real component needs to be measured. One essential project requirement for the analysis algorythms yet limits the selection of the technical processes available. In contrast to the process known as reverse engineering, which involves the detailed scanning of the component’s surface, already a small number of measuring points shall suffice to calculate the corrections. This condition will allow small and medium-sized companies to use their often already existing tactile measuring equipment more efficiently during the process.

As a result of periodic measurements and the automatic correction of the travel path, the process not only accounts for deviations between the component and the CAD model that are detectable in advance, but also for deformations occuring only during the cutting process.

The project ends May 31, 2007 and is supported by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF).

Business Development & Communications Department
Michael Botts
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
Fax: +49 511 2788-100
The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) carries out research and development in the field of laser technology and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr).