VR Simulation of CNC Machine

This page discusses the simulation of one major subtractive digital manufacturing machinery: computer numerical control (CNC) machine. Both additive manufacturing simulation and CNC simulation were developed in Unity3D game engine. To simulate the virtual CNC milling process, three game development techniques were employed including a NavMesh system, a mesh collider and a Mesh voxelizer. The mesh voxelizer will pre-process the final 3D model of product to be manufactured, and subdivide the mesh into thousands of small cubes. The mesh collider will determine if the drill head touches individual voxelized cube based on the drill head movement. If the drill head touches the cube, the touched cube will be removed from the scene, thus simulating the subtractive manufacturing effect. The NavMesh system utilizes built-in Artificial Intelligent (AI) pathfinding system. The final output mesh would be marked as a non-walkable agent, meaning the moving milling head would avoid touching it. The remaining area to be carved out would then be procedurally baked for NavMesh movement. Alternatively, the final mesh in the center can be defined as a step, meaning the AI drill bit would move over it while moving up vertically. This would give the appearance of the drill bit excluding the mesh while still moving in a normalized and predictable pattern. One possible movement path would be to have the drill bit move left and right in rows while moving up each time that a row is completed. The destination point of the NavMesh agent can be dynamically set via coding.

MANEUVER Framework

VR Simulation of Computer Numerical Control Machinery