Intelligent Process Planning Methods for the Manufacturing of Molds

Biermann, D.1, a; Zabel, A.1, b; Michelitsch, T.1, c; Kersting, P.1, d

Institut für Spanende Fertigung, Universität Dortmund, Baroper Str. 301, 44227 Dortmund

a); b); c); d)


The layout of temperature control systems for molds and dies is mostly decisive for the performance and stability of the production process. A design and optimization approach for temperature control systems able to cope with the complex thermal dependencies as well as the geometric constraints will be introduced. By taking the axes, the workspace dimension, and other particular properties of the machining center used to manufacture the temperature control system into account, a significant reduction of the manufacturing costs is achieved. Though a dataset precisely defining the geometric shape of a mold or die in terms of a CAD-model is available to the designer of a temperature control system, an exact specification of the objectives and constraints is usually lacking and the consideration of background knowledge is presumed. Approaches of how to efficiently bring in the designers specific knowledge into the optimization process will be presented. The final shapes of molds for forming processes are usually produced by milling. In order to achieve high surface qualities and low manufacturing times, five-axes milling processes are increasingly applied. Here the CAM-programming, which is mandatory for the milling of free-formed surfaces, is still very complex and error-prone. In order to reduce this problem, an approach is shown which automatically generates five-axes NC-paths from existing, error-free and well established, three-axes ones. Here the technique of evolutionary algorithms is applied together with a comprehensive simulation system, used for the evaluation of the objective function. The presented system not only takes into account the technological properties of the milling task itself, like collisions or process forces, but it also considers the machine-tool kinematics in order to guarantee smooth movements of the main axes.


Mold Temperature Control, Five-Axes Milling, Multi-Objective Optimization, Evolutionary Algorithms


In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Product Design and Manufacturing Systems (PDMS 2007), 12.10.-15.10. 2007, Chongqing, China