Synchronized Toolpath Planning and Topology Optimization

August 26, 2021
Effective Synchronization, Topology Optimization and Toolpath Planning

Rafinex, developer of advanced numerical optimization software solutions, and ModuleWorks, developer of CAD/CAM software components, have integrated ModuleWorks toolpath calculation technology with the Rafinex software algorithm suite. In effective synchronization, topology optimization and toolpath planning enable more effective design-to-manufacture processes. This eliminates late change requests, avoids machining and robotic problems during the design phase and reduces engineering and manufacturing costs in subsequent processes.

Rafinex stochastic topology optimization anticipates real-life variability in material loads and material properties to help engineers design robust, reliable parts for high-performance applications in the aerospace and automotive industries, among others. The toolpath algorithms automatically calculate the optimal, material-independent toolpaths for different additive and subtractive processes (including robotic applications) which means manufacturing feasibility is analysed already during design optimization.

"The accurate, effective and results-oriented approach of Rafinex is reflected in their projects and products”, says Lothar Glasmacher, Head of Additive & Process Technologies at ModuleWorks. “By combining ModuleWorks toolpath technology and Rafinex advanced optimization algorithms, we have significantly accelerated machine- and robot-based production processes."

In the next stage of their cooperation, ModuleWorks and Rafinex are incorporating inverse kinematics to calculate an optimal continuous toolpath for each component.

“Leveraging ModuleWorks’ toolpath planning in combination with our topology modelling software enables our customers to go a decisive step further and equally anticipate machining constraints and targeted cycle times when designing the optimal robust component,” says André Wilmes, CEO at Rafinex. 

Thanks to this synchronized workflow, engineers can immediately identify design features that are too difficult or impractical to manufacture for any given production process and adjust the design accordingly. Spotting potential show-stoppers at this early stage saves considerable costs and speeds up both prototype and series production.

Related Glossary Terms

  • toolpath( cutter path)

    toolpath( cutter path)

    2-D or 3-D path generated by program code or a CAM system and followed by tool when machining a part.