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Proceedings Paper

Abstract Only CNC Aspheric Shaping With Toroidal Wheels
Author(s): D. Ketelsen; W. Cary Kittrell; W. M. Kuhn; R. E. Parks; George L. Lamb; Lynn Baker
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Paper Abstract

Contouring with computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines can be accomplished with several different tool geometries and coordinated machine axes. To minimize the number of coordinated axes for nonsymmetric work to three, it is common practice to use a spherically shaped tool such as a ball-end mill. However, to minimize grooving due to the feed and ball radius, it is desirable to use a long ball radius, but there is clearly a practical limit to ball diameter with the spherical tool. We have found that the use of commercially available toroidal wheels permits long effective cutting radii, which in turn improve finish and minimize grooving for a set feed. In addition, toroidal wheels are easier than spherical wheels to center accurately. Cutting parameters are also easier to control because the feed rate past the tool does not change as the slope of the work changes. The drawback to the toroidal wheel is the more complex calculation of the tool path. Of course, once the algorithm is worked out, the tool path is as easily calculated as for a spherical tool. We have performed two experiments with the Large Optical Generator (LOG) that were ideally suited to three-axis contouring--surfaces that have no axis of rotational symmetry. By oscillating the cutting head horizontally or vertically (in addition to the motions required to generate the power of the surface) , and carefully coordinating those motions with table rotation, the mostly astigmatic departure for these surfaces is produced. The first experiment was a pair of reflector molds that together correct the spherical aberration of the Arecibo radio telescope. The larger of these was 5 m in diameter and had a 12 cm departure from the best-fit sphere. The second experiment was the generation of a purely astigmatic surface to demonstrate the feasibility of producing axially symmetric asphe.rics while mounted and rotated about any off-axis point. Measurements of the latter (the first experiment had relatively loose tolerances) indicate an accuracy only 3 or 4 times that achieved by conventional two-axis contouring (10 AM as opposed to 3 pm rms) The successful completion of these projects demonstrates the successful application of three-axis contouring with the LOG. Toroidal cutters have also solved many of the drawbacks of spherical wheels. Work remains to be done in improving machine response and decreasing the contribution of backlash errors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 1987
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 0818, Current Developments in Optical Engineering II, (1 January 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.978906
Show Author Affiliations
D. Ketelsen, University of Arizona (United States)
W. Cary Kittrell, University of Arizona (United States)
W. M. Kuhn, University of Arizona (United States)
R. E. Parks, University of Arizona (United States)
George L. Lamb, University of Arizona (United States)
Lynn Baker, Cornell University (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0818:
Current Developments in Optical Engineering II
Robert E. Fischer; Warren J. Smith, Editor(s)

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