CGTech (Irvine, Calif.) has introduced new programming and simulation software for automated tape laying (ATL) machines. The new capability complements CGTech’s existing composite software applications for automated fiber placement (AFP). The capabilities are offered in three applications: VERICUT Composite Paths for Engineering (VCPe), VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) and VERICUT Composite Simulation (VCS). VCPe gives the user the ability to measure and evaluate the effects of AFP and ATL path trajectory, material steering, surface curvature, course convergence and other process constraints as they would be applied in manufacturing. The software also provides produceability analysis of the fiber angle, based on the curvature of the part, and overlap and gaps needed for structural analysis. Tape course geometry can be written to various CAD formats for further evaluation by the user’s existing analysis methods and tools. VCP reads CATIA V5, STEP, or ACIS surface models. It also reads Siemens Fibersim, CATIA V5 or other external ply geometry and information. VCP then adds material to fill the plies according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. Layup paths are linked together to form specific layup sequences and are output as NC programs for the automated layup machine. VCS reads CAD models and NC programs, either from VCP or other composite layup path-generation applications, and simulates the sequence of NC programs on a virtual machine. Material is applied to the layup form via NC program instructions in a virtual CNC simulation environment. The simulated material applied to the form can be measured and inspected to ensure the NC program follows manufacturing standards and requirements. A report showing simulation results and statistical information can be created automatically.
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