Tool selection is one of the most significant process considerations when deciding how a machined product will be manufactured. The tool selection activity is rooted in feature geometry but it also has a direct impact on machinability and machine tool performance. Consequently, the integration of tool selection with design is a key step towards the goal of a seamless integration between computer-aided design and computer-aided process planning. This integration requires that design be carried out using features. A feature based design environment was created with associated validation methods for updating and managing feature dimensions, type descriptions and dealing with feature interactions. The next stage of automated tool selection involves converting the information associated with each feature into machining operation requirements, which in turn is used to query a database to extract all tools that may be used to complete a given operation. In this paper, which is the first of two parts, the feature creation and validation methods are presented together with the methodologies for operation and tool selection. In Part 2, a method for the estimation of machining times is presented together with results from testing the methods using real components.
- Computer aided design
- Computer aided process planning
- Tool selection