(19)
(11)EP 2 694 241 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.10.2021 Bulletin 2021/41

(21)Application number: 11713764.6

(22)Date of filing:  07.04.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B23K 7/00(2006.01)
B23K 10/00(2006.01)
B23K 31/10(2006.01)
B26F 3/00(2006.01)
B23K 9/013(2006.01)
B23K 26/38(2014.01)
G05B 19/4093(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
B26D 5/005; Y10T 83/04; Y10T 83/148; G05B 19/40937; B23K 2101/18; B23K 9/013; B24C 1/045; B24C 3/04; G05B 2219/35003; G05B 2219/35219; B23K 26/0876; B23K 26/38; B26F 3/004; B23K 31/10; B23K 37/0235; B23K 26/0853; B23K 10/00; B23K 7/003; Y02P 90/02; B26D 5/20
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2011/055438
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/136262 (11.10.2012 Gazette  2012/41)

(54)

METHOD OF , SYSTEM AND COMPUTER PROGRAM FOR MACHINE CUTTING SEVERAL PARTS OF A PIECE OF MATERIAL USING CONTROLLING RULES AND VARIABLES FOR CUTTING

VERFAHREN, SYSTEM UND COMPUTERPROGRAMM ZUM MASCHINENSCHNEIDEN MEHRERER TEILE EINES MATERIALSTÜCKS MIT STEUERREGELN UND -VARIABLEN FÜR DAS SCHNEIDVERFAHREN

PROCÉDÉ, SYSTÈME ET PROGRAMME D'ORDINATEUR POUR UNE MACHINE QUI DÉCOUPE PLUSIEURS MORCEAUX DANS UNE PIÈCE DE MATIÈRE EN UTILISANT DES RÈGLES DE COMMANDE ET DES VARIABLES POUR LE DÉCOUPAGE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.02.2014 Bulletin 2014/07

(73)Proprietor: Tomologic AB
112 23 Stockholm (SE)

(72)Inventor:
  • NORBERG OHLSSON, Magnus
    S-534 95 Vara (SE)

(74)Representative: Ehrner & Delmar Patentbyrå AB 
Drottninggatan 33, plan 4
111 51 Stockholm
111 51 Stockholm (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-84/03647
DE-A1- 3 832 215
WO-A1-2011/042058
US-A1- 2008 053 977
  
  • RICHARD O ET AL: "RIMBAUDD SOFTWARE FOR AUTOMATIC PART POSITIONING AND CUTTING OPTIMIZATION", ALSTHOM REVIEW, ALSTHOM, PARIS, FR, no. 7, 1 January 1987 (1987-01-01), pages 63-70, XP000112000,
  • None
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a method of machine cutting several parts out of a piece of material using a beam cutting technology according to the preamble of claim 1 (see for example the article of O. Richard et al, "RIMBAUD : software for automatic part positioning and cutting optimization").

[0002] The present invention also relates to a system and to a computer program product through which the inventive method can be implemented, according to the preamble of, respectively, claims 17 and 19.

[0003] There are various cutting technologies known to cut parts out of a piece of material and the present invention relates to what here is called beam cutting technology. Beam cutting is defined as having some kind of beam as the cutting agent, such as laser cutting, plasma cutting, ion beam cutting, flame or torch cutting, water cutting, pellet cutting or air cutting. This is not to be confused with mechanical cutting where the cutting agent is a mechanical member such as a cutting blade or a rotating cutting head.

Description of background art



[0004] It is previously known to use a work plan optimization tool based on nesting part placement methods to place out the parts that are to be cut out of a piece of material. Nesting is a geometry optimization tool working in two dimensions that is based on different heuristic search algorithms that rotate and pack polygons in a given work area. In a graphic way nested work plans gives a quite good solution but in production it is required that a safe distance is used between parts. Safe distances have to take into account the machining and material technical conditions that arise in the production process. The size of the safe distance varies depending on used material and used cutting technology, a normal safe distance between parts is 5 - 20 mm.

[0005] Examples of used controlling rules for controlling the cutting operation of a machine are how to handle:
  • sharp edges,
  • turning points,
  • beam breaking in critical areas,
  • sensing the cutting head,
  • take into account of the grid which materials can be located at,
  • take into account the pivot risk of pre-cut details,
  • length, shape and angle of lead in,
  • length, shape and angle of lead out,
  • micro joint for parts, and
  • different use of gas when cutting and volume of abstractive material in water cutting.


[0006] Examples of controlling rules related to used material can be:
  • rolling direction for different metal,
  • heat,
  • that the material settles,
  • different patterns in the material,
  • material stretch,
  • tolerances for parts, and
  • part quality.


[0007] Due to the above mentioned production and material related conditions there will be waste material between the cut parts.

[0008] As the beam makes the cut in the material the thickness of the cut is the same as, or corresponds to, the thickness of the beam, hence the beam thickness has to be taken into consideration when positioning the parts on the material and setting the safe distance between the parts. It is known to use tool radius compensation in the cutting process, where left tool radius compensation is used if the cut is made to the left of the part in the cutting direction, and right tool radius compensation is used if the cut is made to the right of the part in the cutting direction. Whenever the tool radius compensation is changed, the cutting process is stopped, the beam is turned off, and a new piercing is made.

[0009] Some known technologies that are used to provide a reliable production process is to use micro joints between a part and the material surrounding the part, normally called the material skeleton. A micro joint is created by stopping the cutting beam in a cut along a cutting path, moving the cutting device a small distance along the cutting path, and then starting the cutting beam again to continue the cut along the cutting path. The small uncut part will then constitute the micro joint.

[0010] In order to minimize the number of piercings and positioning distance in the cutting process it is known to manually position bridges between parts and to chain cut.

[0011] It is also known to minimize material waste by using common cut for straight lines between two points in order to minimize material waste and cutting length. In a common cut the distance between the two parts is only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam and no tool radius compensation is used during the cutting process.

Summary of the present invention


Problems



[0012] With any kind of beam cutting technology there is a huge problem with waste. A normal production reliable cutting plan has 20-50 percent waste. The background to why the wastage incurred in production is the ineffective methods for part placement on the raw material in combination with technology rules for each cutting method and each material.

[0013] When cutting technology is used as production method there are four different costs that bring the detail price. Material costs, which normally is significantly more than 50 percent of the detail price, and three different categories of machine costs; piercings, position distance and cutting distance. It is a problem to bring down the amount of waste material. It is also a problem to limit the number of piercings that are required in a cutting process and it is a problem to optimize the position distances and the cutting distances in the cutting process.

[0014] It is a problem to minimize the distance between free shaped parts in order to minimize the waste material.

[0015] If parts are positioned very close to each other, it is also a problem to keep the number of piercings to a minimum, to provide turning areas for the beam cutting process and to avoid that parts will pivot if there is no neighbouring skeleton that the part can be joined to.

[0016] In beam cutting techniques it is a problem that the cutting beam lags behind from the upper surface of the material to the bottom surface of the material in the relative movement between the cutting device and the material. This means that if the machine stops the movement and turns the beam of then the material will not have been cut totally through in the end point of the cut.

[0017] Another problem is that if the cutting movement stands still with the beam turned on to catch up this lag, then the properties of the material in the area around the stopping point will be affected, for instance might the material be heated and hardened with some cutting technologies. The same is true at the starting point of a new cut where the piercing of the material will create a crater with a radius of material with affected properties around this starting point. Because of these problems so called lead ins and lead outs are sometimes used at the start point and end point of each cut, where the lead in and lead out is outside the actual cut so that this area of affected material will not be a part of the cut part.

Solution



[0018] With the purpose of solving one or more of the above indicated problems, and from the standpoint of the above indicated field of invention, the present invention teaches that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for the forming of a cluster of parts with free form shapes, where the parts are positioned so close to each other so that only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam is found between adjacent parts whenever the shape of the parts allows it.

[0019] This will reduce waste material and it will optimize the position distances and the cutting distances in the cutting process.

[0020] A method of machine cutting several parts out of a piece of material according to the present invention is defined in claim 1. The present invention teaches that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for the joining together of the parts in the cluster by micro joints holding parts together with a pocket or adjacent parts together with each other.

[0021] It is specifically taught that a micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut, thus not closing the complete cut of the contour, where the uncut beginning or end of the contour constitute the micro joint and the size of the hereby made micro joint corresponds to the set distance. This will allow the making of micro joints without having to start and stop the cutting beam during the cutting process, which will give a cutting process with fewer starts and stops of the cutting beam. By doing this the cluster of parts that are connected to each other by means of micro joints can be treated as one complex part in the cutting process.

[0022] It is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for joining the parts with the material surrounding the cluster by micro joints holding the parts together with the surrounding material. Also this micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut, thus not closing the complete cut of the contour, where the uncut beginning or end of the contour constitute the micro joint and the size of the hereby made micro joint corresponds to the set distance.

[0023] It is proposed that the size of the micro joints is controlled through the controlling rules, where those variables for controlling the size are depending on the set distance, used material and used cutting device.

[0024] Tool radius compensation is sometimes required to maintain the wanted distance between neighbouring parts and if the wanted quality of cut part requires tool radius compensation. With the purpose of limiting the number of piercings and thereto belonging lead ins and lead outs, and with the purpose of enabling complex combinations of parts belonging to one cluster, it is proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for switching between right tool radius compensation, left tool radius compensation and no tool radius compensation during a continuous cut of a line or contour without turn-off and turn-on of the cutting beam.

[0025] For the same reason it is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for the creation of strategically positioned turning areas by making a split cut for this purpose or by cutting a line or contour longer then necessarily required, and using the hereby created gap as a turning area.

[0026] The use of such gap as a turning area is done by allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in the turning area, meaning that the lag of the cutting beam can be eliminated in the turning area, allowing a straight cutting beam as the cutting beam has changed direction and continues its cut in the new direction.

[0027] This will make sure that as the machine turns the cutting beam into another direction the cut will be complete all through the material even in the turning point, without leaving unwanted bridging material between adjacent materials in the turning point.

[0028] It is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in an interception point as the cutting beam crosses the interception point.

[0029] As several parts positioned close to each other, there will, depending on their form, sometimes be required the cutting of very small angles. These small angles can be formed by two straight cuts, by two tangents or curves, or by a combination of a straight cut and a curve leading into the angle. There is technical problem to cut small angles and the present invention proposes that the set of controlling rules comprises a rule for cutting small angles, said rule stating that a small angle is cut in two cuts, one cut for each line leading into the angle. This can be done by both cuts leading into the angle or by one cut leading into the angle and one cut leading away from the angle. Either way it is possible to let the cuts lead all the way to the tip of the angle or to stop the cut before the tip of the angle, thus forming a micro joint in the tip of the angle.

[0030] The forming of a cluster of parts positioned very close to each other will sometimes require that thin stripes is cut out of the material, and the present invention teaches that when the distance between two cuts is so small that the properties of the material between the two cuts can be affected and start struggle, respective cut is made in two partial cuts, and thereby minimizing the problem with affected material in thin parts. These partial cuts are started from the outer parts of respective cut towards the centre of respective cut.

[0031] It is also proposed that the partial cuts are not made all the way along respective cut, but that a micro joint is left between the two partial cuts, thus providing support for the thin part with the neighbouring part.

[0032] It is proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for making a new piercing in a pocket area.

[0033] It is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for cutting a pocket by making a piercing and starting a cut in the material surrounding the cluster, and then cutting out the pocket, or part of the pocket, within the cluster.

[0034] It is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for cutting a second pocket within the cluster by making a piercing and starting a cut in a first pocket within the cluster, and then cutting out the second pocket, or part of the second pocket, within the cluster.

[0035] It is also proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for making a new piercing in a previously made cut.

[0036] These rules about piercings and cutting out pockets makes it easy to make cost effective piercings due to the requirement of making less piercings, these rules are also required to enable the cutting of pockets between free formed parts.

[0037] In order to further minimize the waste material, it is proposed that, whenever it is not allowed that only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam is found between neighbouring parts, where one part could be another part within said cluster, a part within another cluster cut out of the same piece of material, one or several single parts cut out of the same piece of material, or the outer frame of said surrounding material, at least two different variables are used to set the distance between neighbouring parts from two different clusters. A first variable representing a first smallest distance between neighbouring parts with bordering parallel lines, and a second variable representing a second smallest distance between neighbouring parts where at least one of the neighbouring parts has a bordering not straight line, where the distance represented by the second variable is shorter than the distance represented by the first variable since two parallel cuts will affect the material of the neighbouring part more than a cut with a not straight line.

[0038] It is also proposed that the second distance, represented by the second variable, is dependant on the shape of the not straight line, where for instance a shape that has a smaller radius will allow a shorter smallest distance than a shape that has a larger radius. Also a shape that has a bordering corner will allow a shorter smallest distance than a shape that has a radius.

[0039] It should be understood that the implementation of these rules depend on used beam cutting technology and used material, thus it is proposed that a third variable is representing used material, and that a fourth variable is representing used beam cutting technology, such as cutting with plasma, laser, flame, water, ions, torch, pellets or air, so that these variables can be taken into account when applying the rules in a certain cutting operation.

[0040] Different cutting technologies will provide cutting beams with different thickness, and different cutting devices using the same cutting technologies will also provide cutting beams with different thickness depending on the conditions of the cutting device. Hence it is proposed that a fifth variable is representing the width or thickness of the cutting beam. This fifth variable is also depending on the third and fourth variable.

[0041] The present invention teaches that the set of controlling rules may provide rules for a lead in or lead out by means of automatic adjustment of angle, shape and/or length for the lead in or lead out, depending on used material, the thickness of the used material and used cutting technology, the angle and length adjustment being adapted to position the start and stop point of the cut sufficiently far away from the cut and with a lead in or lead out angle that is as small as possible.

[0042] The present invention proposes that the cutting operation is performed in the sequence of performing all cutting operations within said cluster, such as cut all holes, strategically positioned split cuts, common cuts and pockets and thereby create required micro joints, before completing the outer contour of said cluster.

[0043] It should be understood that the inventive method can be implemented as a tool for computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer aided design (CAD), or as a part of the controlling rules and variables used by a numerical controller in cutting equipment controlled by means of computer numerical control (CNC).

[0044] It should be understood that the rules and variables described in the inventive method can be automatically implemented according to set variables and distances without the need of manual intervention.

[0045] The present invention also relates to a system for machine cutting several parts out of a piece of material as defined in claim 17.

[0046] The present invention also relates to a computer program product as defined in claim 19.

Advantages



[0047] The advantages of a method, system, a computer program product according to the present invention are that through the invention it is possible to minimize the material waste and create a production reliable cutting plan with optimized machine cost, meaning an optimization regarding the number of piercings, position distances and cutting distances.

[0048] The present invention provides an optimal cutting with a cutting work plan where it is possible to control the cutting variables in the cutting machine to get a reliable process. The invention provides control over turning areas, distance between parts, micro joints between parts, when clustering together more than one free formed part, length, shape and angle of lead in, length, shape and angle of lead out, switching between tool radius compensations, and scanning within the cluster area, that is the possibility to use the sensing cutting head and without lifting the head between holes, splits, common cuts, and pockets within the cluster area, to minimize the positioning distances.

[0049] The provided production reliability means a safe process, right tolerance for parts, and an optimal quality for parts with minimum resource waste.

[0050] This present invention provides the possibility to create clusters for free form parts. Single parts optimized on the work area in close clusters provide a chance to minimize the material waste. As clusters are created details are positioned against each other which make it possible to use all tangent segments when clustering. The inventive cluster of several parts creates a new part without safe distance only tangents, splits, bridges, turning areas, micro joints, common cut lines and pockets. Different constellations of the inventive rules and variables provides the possibility to give a reliable cutting process for any kind of upcoming situation when free formed two dimensional parts are going to be clustered without safe distance.

[0051] The use of micro joints between parts to be cut and/or between parts and a pocket also gives advantages in the manual or automated sorting process.

[0052] The use of inventive turning areas will also provide the possibility to avoid using areas of the skeleton for changing the cutting direction and instead use already cut lines where the cutting direction is changed, which again minimize the waste.

Brief description of the drawings



[0053] A method, a system and a computer program product according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1
is a schematic and simplified illustration of a method, system and computer program product according to the present invention,
Figure 2
is a schematic illustration of a cluster of parts with only two parts,
Figure 3
is a schematic illustration of a cluster with several parts,
Figure 4
is a schematic illustration of how to cut over several interception points,
Figure 5
is a schematic and simplified illustration of how a common cut can end in order to achieve different means,
Figure 6a and 6b
is a schematic and simplified illustration of how to cut small angles,
Figure 7a and 7b
is a schematic illustration of two different ways of cutting out two parts with neighbouring tangents at a distance of the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam,
Figure 8
is a schematic illustration of how to cut thin strips,
Figure 9
is a schematic illustration of how distances between different clusters can be set,
Figure 10
is a schematic illustration of how to set lead ins and lead outs, and
Figure 11
is a schematic and simplified illustration on different positions for piercings and different ways of cutting a pocket.

Description of embodiments as presently preferred



[0054] The present invention will now be described with reference to figure 1 illustrating a method of machine cutting several parts 12a, 12b, 12c out of a piece of material 12 using a beam cutting technology. The schematic illustration of figure 1 shows that a cutting device 13 is movable and the material 12 is fixed, however, it should b understood that the present invention can also be implemented in a system where the cutting device is fixed and the material is movable. The invention relates to controlling the relative movement between the material 12 and the cutting device 13 regardless of what is moving and what is fixed.

[0055] In the description of the present invention certain terminology might be used that implies that one specific beam cutting technology is described, but it should be understood that the present invention relates to any beam cutting technology and the skilled person will understand how a feature described with a terminology specific for one beam cutting technology can be adapted and implemented in another beam cutting technology.

[0056] The inventive method provides a set of controlling rules and variables for cutting two dimensional shapes or patterns, where one rule or a combination of several rules are used for the cutting operation depending on the shape or pattern to be cut, where the shape or pattern forms the parts out of the piece of material. The controlling rules and parameters are used to control the relative movement between a cutting device 13 and the piece of material 12 so that this movement is performed in a controlled manner to perform the cutting operation.

[0057] It is specifically taught that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for the forming of a cluster of parts 15 with free form shapes. By free form shapes is meant that the parts could have any form or shape in the two dimensions that are cut out of the material.

[0058] The present invention teaches that the parts 12a, 12b, 12c are positioned so close to each other so that only the thickness 13a' of one cut from the cutting beam 13a is found between adjacent parts whenever the shape of the parts allows it.

[0059] This means that a common cut will be required between parts where the common line to be cut is not a straight line between two points, rather it could be any curved form, or several connected straight lines.

[0060] The different embodiments presented in the following description shows examples of where parts with different forms or shapes can be cut without any required skeleton between the parts, thus saving a lot of material.

[0061] One example is illustrated in figure 2 where a first part 21 and a second part 22 are positioned so close so that only the thickness of one cut 23 from the cutting beam is found between the parts 21, 22.

[0062] It is proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for the making of micro joints for joining parts together with one or several pockets within the cluster by micro joints holding respective part together with a pocket or for the joining together of parts by micro joints holding adjacent parts together with each other, and that a micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut, thus not closing the complete cut of the contour, which will be shown in more detail with reference to figure 5. The size of the hereby made micro joint corresponds to the set distance

[0063] It shall be understood that the set of controlling rules may also comprise rules for joining the parts with the material surrounding the cluster by micro joints holding the parts together with the surrounding material, which is illustrated in figure 2 showing a first micro joint 24 and a second micro joint 25 is joining the parts 21, 22 with the surrounding material 2.

[0064] As can be seen in figure 2 the first micro joint 24 is made by starting the cut of the contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, and the second micro joint 25 is made by stopping the cut of the contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut, thus not closing the complete cut of the contour, where the size of the hereby made micro joints 24, 25 corresponds to the set distance.

[0065] It should be understood that depending on the thickness of the material, micro joints might not be required at all, since the cut parts will stick to the skeleton and neighbouring parts when the material is thick enough without the risk of tilting for small parts.

[0066] The size of the micro joints is controlled through the controlling rules, and variables for controlling the size are depending on the set distance, used material and used cutting device. If for instance the combination of cutting technology and material causes a lag of the beam then the cut can be made almost all the way to another cut part where the beam is turned of, and where the thicker joint on the back of the material due to beam lag is a part of the micro joint. If the combination of cutting technology and material does not cause any lag of the beam, then the micro joints can be cut to precise size.

[0067] If the first and second part 21, 22 requires tool radius compensation, the present invention teaches that when starting to cut in point 2a, left tool radius compensation is used for cutting the contour of the first part 21 to the point 2b where the common cut starts. From point 2b to the point 2c, during the common cut part of the contour, no tool radius compensation is used, and from point 2c to point 2d, right tool radius compensation is used for cutting the contour of the second part 22. It is thus proposed that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for switching between right tool radius compensation, left tool radius compensation and no tool radius compensation during a continuous cut of a line or contour without turn-off and turn-on of the cutting beam. This means that cutting the two parts 21, 22 in figure 2 can be done in one continuous cut from point 2a to point 2d. The figure also shows how micro joints 24, 25 are formed by not completing the cut all the way.

[0068] Figure 2 is an illustration of a very simple and also specific example since the cluster of parts only includes two parts.

[0069] Figure 3 is another example of a cluster 3A with four parts, a first 31, second 32, third 33, and fourth 34 part. Here it can be seen that the cut parts creates a pocket 3B in the middle between the four parts since the four parts have round corners.

[0070] In figure 3 it is proposed that the common cuts between three of the parts are cut first, for instance first the first common cut 35 between the first and second part 31, 32, and then the second common cut 36 between the second and third part 32, 33, and then third common cut 37 between the third and fourth part 33, 34. These three common cuts 35, 36, 37 are cut into the pocket 3B in the middle, thereby creating three turning areas, a first turning area 35', a second turning area 36', and a third turning area 37' at the end of respective common cut.

[0071] As the fourth common cut 38 is cut, the pocket in the middle is made by the same cut, where the three turning areas 35', 36', 37' allows the beam to enter into the turning area, turn around and then continue out of the turning area, cutting the next corner, and continue into the next turning area, and so on around the whole pocket 3B.

[0072] Figure 3 shows an example where change of tool radius compensation might be required during the cut. To exemplify this it is shown that as the fourth common cut 38 is made no tool radius compensation is used during the cut between the first part 31 and the fourth part 34, this is then changed into left tool radius compensation while cutting the round corner of the fourth part 34, while turning in the third turning area 37', while cutting the round corner of the third part 33, while turning in the second turning area 36', while cutting the round corner of the second part 32, while turning in the first turning area 35', and while cutting the round corner of the first part 31.

[0073] The use of the gap as a turning area is done by allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in the turning area.

[0074] The beam can be is allowed to catch up with the cutting device in different ways and which way to choose depends on the specific cutting situation.

[0075] One way allow the beam to catch up with the cutting device is to allow the cutting speed to slow down within the turning area and accelerate to normal cutting speed as the cutting operation proceeds out of the turning area. The tight turning area will in practical applications of the invention cause the cutting speed to slow down as turns within the turning area is made, thereby allowing the beam to catch up with the cutting device as the turn is made in the turning area. In some applications, depending on reliability and/or quality requirements, it might be required to actively slow down, or even stop, the movement in the cutting process in order to make sure that the beam really is allowed to catch up.

[0076] Another way to allow the beam to catch up with the cutting device is by allowing the cutting device to do a radius within the turning area.

[0077] Another way to allow the beam to catch up with the cutting device is by allowing the cutting device to do an angle or phase within the turning area.

[0078] Figure 4 shows that the cutting beam 41 crosses several already cut lines 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, or interception points. This could cause a problem if the beam is lagging behind the cutting device, since the upper part of the beam might start to cut on the other side of the interception point before the lower part of the beam has cut through the first side of the interception point, which might be a risk of cutting interruption.

[0079] This teaches that the set of controlling rules comprises rules for allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in an interception point as the cutting beam crosses the interception point.

[0080] This catching up can be done in different ways, three different proposed ways are to let the cutting device do a little radius A within the cut gap, to let the cutting device do a little phase B in the cut gap, or to slow down the cutting speed when entering the gap and then start to cut with normal speed when exiting the gap C.

[0081] Figure 5 shows an example of how cuts can be ended in different way. The figure shows schematically a first part 51, a second part 52, a third part 53 and a fourth part 54 belonging to a cluster of parts 5A, the whole cluster not shown in the figure.

[0082] The parts are positioned so that a first cut 512 between the first part 51 and the second part 52 is a common cut, a second cut 523 between the second part 52 and the third part 53 is a common cut, and a third cut 534 between the third part 53 and the fourth part 54 is a common cut, and all four parts border to an outer cut 55.

[0083] Here it can be seen that the first cut 512 has been stopped before reaching the outer cut 55, thus forming a micro joint 56 between the first part 51 and the second part 52.

[0084] It can also be seen that the second cut 523 has been cut all the way to the outer cut 55, thus separating the second and third parts 52, 53 from each other.

[0085] It can also be seen that the third cut 534 has been cut over the outer cut, thus providing a strategically positioned cut that can be used as a turning area 57.

[0086] Figure 6a illustrates a solution regarding cutting small angles 6A. The set of controlling rules comprises a rule stating that a small angle 6A is cut in two cuts, a first cut 61 and a second cut 62, one cut for each line, showing that both cuts are leading into the angle 6A. The figure shows that each cut is leading into 61', 62' the tip 6A' of the angle 6A, but is should be understood that one or both of the cuts does not have to lead all the way to the tip of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint at the tip of the angle, or that one or both of the cuts leads past the tip of the angle. In the figure, the angle is exemplified by two curves leading into each other, however, it should be understood that it might also be two straight lines, or one straight line and one curve, leading into each other.

[0087] Figure 6b shows an embodiment of the present invention of how to cut an angle 6B. Here it is shown that the angle 6B is cut in two cuts 63, 64, one cut 64 leading into 64' the angle 6B and one cut 63 leading away from 63' the angle 6B. In this figure it is shown that the cut 64 leading into the angle 6B does not lead all the way to the tip 6B' of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint 65 in the tip of the angle, or that one or both of the cuts leads past the tip of the angle.

[0088] Figure 11 illustrates different embodiments on how to make a new piercing and also how to cut pockets in a cluster 11 with four parts 11a, 11b, 11c, 11d with two pockets 11e, 11f and material 11g surrounding the cluster 11.

[0089] According to these embodiments the set of controlling rules comprises rules stating that a new piercing 11e' should be made in a pocket area 11e.

[0090] Here it can also be seen that a pocket 11f can be cut by making a piercing 11g' and starting a cut in the material surrounding the cluster 11g, and then cutting out the pocket 11f, or part of the pocket, within the cluster 11.

[0091] It is also proposed that a second pocket 11f can be cut within the cluster by making a piercing 11e' and starting a cut in a first pocket 11e within the cluster 11, and then cutting out the second pocket 11f, or part of the second pocket, within the cluster.

[0092] It is also proposed that a new piercing 11b' can be made in a previously made cut.

[0093] Figure 7a shows an example where a first part 7a1 and a second part 7a2 is positioned so that the distance between the neighbouring tangents is only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam. In figure 7a the cutting operation is started by cutting a strategically positioned split cut 7a3 through the common tangent of the first and second part 7a1, 7a2. After that the two parts 7a1, 7a2 are cut in one cut where the cutting beam will use the strategically positioned split cut 7a3 as a turning area 7a3'. In this cut no change of radius compensation is required since the cut direction 7a4, 7a4' is such that the radius compensation remains the same during the whole cut.

[0094] Figure 7b also shows an example where a first part 7b1 and a second part 7b2 is positioned so that the distance between the neighbouring tangents is only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam. In figure 7b the two parts 7b1, 7b2 are cut in one cut where the cutting beam will cross the already cut tangent point 7b3 as the cutting beam cuts through this point the second time, the already cut tangent point 7b3 thus being an interception point according to figure 4. If there are requirements of tool radius compensation, this can be provided by a change of radius compensation as the cutting beam moves from cutting the first part 7b1 into cutting the second part 7b2 and vice versa since the cut direction 7b4, 7b4' is such that the radius compensation changes as the cutting beam goes through the tangent point 7b3.

[0095] Figure 8 illustrates that when the distance between three cuts, a first cut 81, a second cut 82 and a third cut 83, is so small that the properties of the material between two neighbouring cuts is affected and start struggle, the present invention proposes that the first, second and third cuts 81, 82, 83 are made in two partial cuts 81a, 81b, 82a, 82b, 83a, 83b starting from the outer parts of respective cut 81, 82, 83 towards the centre of respective cut 81, 82, 83.

[0096] Figure 8 also shows that the first and second partial cuts 81a, 81b, 82a, 82b are not made all the way along respective cut 81, 82, but that a micro joint 81c, 82c is left between the two partial cuts 81a, 81b, 82a, 82b, while the third partial cuts 83a, 83b, are made all the way to close the contour of the third cut 83.

[0097] The present invention teaches that different variables are available for the control of the cutting device.

[0098] Whenever it is not allowed that only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam is found between neighbouring parts, where one part could be another part within the cluster, a part within another cluster cut out of the same piece of material, one or several single parts cut out of the same piece of material, or the outer frame of the surrounding material, the present invention teaches that a first and a second variable is used to control the smallest allowed distance between neighbouring parts.

[0099] This is exemplified in figure 9 which illustrates that two or more clusters 9A, 9B, 9C are cut from one piece of material, also showing a part of the outer frame 9D of the surrounding material, all represents neighbouring parts. The clusters can comprise several different parts but for the sake of simplicity the clusters 9A, 9B, 9C are only schematically illustrated as solid parts. The first variable represents a first smallest distance a9 between neighbouring parts 9A, 9B with bordering parallel lines 9A', 9B'. The second variable represents a second smallest distance b9 between neighbouring parts 9A, 9C where at least one of the neighbouring parts 9C has a bordering not straight line 9C'. The present invention teaches that the distance b9 represented by the second variable is shorter than the distance a9 represented by the first variable.

[0100] This also teaches that the second distance b9, represented by the second variable, is dependant on the shape of the not straight line 9C'. Figure 9 also shows that a shape 9C" that has a smaller radius will allow a shorter smallest distance d9 between neighbouring parts 9C, 9D than the smallest distance b9 for a shape 9C' that has a larger radius between neighbouring parts 9A, 9C. It is also shown that if at least one of the neighbouring parts 9B has a bordering corner 9B", then the distance c9 can be shorter than the distances b9, d9 for other non parallel lines 9C', 9C" represented by the second variable.

[0101] It is proposed that a third variable is representing used material, and that a fourth variable is representing used beam cutting technology, such as cutting with plasma, laser, flame, water, ions, torch, pellets or air.

[0102] It is also proposed that a fifth variable is representing the width of the cutting beam, which is depending on the third and fourth variable.

[0103] Figure 10 shows that a lead in 101 or lead out 102 can be provided by means of automatic adjustment of angle, shape and/or length for the lead 101 in or lead out 102, depending on used material, the thickness of the used material and used cutting technology.

[0104] It is proposed that the angle 101a, 102a is chosen as small as possible in relation to the cut 103 so that the crater 101b created by the piercing as the cutting beam is started in the lead in 101, or affected zone 102b that is created as the beam is stopped in the lead out 102, will be positioned outside of the cut 103, while still minimizing the length of the lead 101 in and lead out 102 respectively.

[0105] It is proposed that all cutting operations within the cluster, such as cutting all holes, strategically positioned split cuts, common cuts and pockets and thereby creating required micro joints, before completing the outer contour of the cluster.

[0106] It should be understood that a method according to the present invention can be implemented as a tool for computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer aided design (CAD), or as a part of the controlling rules and variables used by a numerical controller in cutting equipment controlled by means of computer numerical control (CNC).

[0107] It should be understood that the rules and variables described in the inventive method can be automatically implemented according to set variables and distances without the need of manual intervention.

[0108] The present invention also relates to a system which will be described with renewed reference to figure 1, being a system 11 for machine cutting several parts 12a, 12b, 12c out of a piece of material 12, the inventive system 11 comprising a beam cutting device 13 and a control unit 14 for controlling the beam cutting device 13.

[0109] The control unit 14 is adapted to follow a set of controlling rules for cutting two dimensional shapes or patterns, where one rule or a combination of several rules can be used for the cutting operation depending on the shape or pattern to be cut, which shape or pattern is forming the parts 12a, 12b, 12c out of the piece of material12.

[0110] The present invention specifically teaches that the control unit 14 is adapted to follow a set of controlling rules comprising rules for the forming of a cluster 15 of parts 12a, 12b, 12c with free form shapes, where the parts 12a, 12b, 12c are positioned so close to each other so that only the thickness 13a' of one cut from the cutting beam 13a is found between adjacent parts whenever the shape of the parts allows it.

[0111] It is proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into leaving micro joints between adjacent parts or between parts and one or several pockets, thus allowing the micro joints to hold adjacent parts together with each other or a part with a pocket, where the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or, as shown in figure 5, into stopping the cut of a contour 512 a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut, whereby the cutting device is controlled into not closing the complete cut of the contour, thus providing a micro joint 56 joining the first part 51 and the second part 52, where the size of the micro joint corresponds to the set distance.

[0112] As illustrated in figure 2, it is proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into leaving micro joints 24, 25 between the parts 21, 22, and the material 2 surrounding the cluster thus allowing the micro joints 24, 25 to hold the parts 21, 22 together with the surrounding material.

[0113] The control unit is adapted to follow controlling rules setting the size of the micro joints, and variables for controlling the size are depending on used material and used cutting device.

[0114] It is proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into switching between right tool radius compensation, left tool radius compensation and no tool radius compensation during a continuous cut of a line or contour if the first and second part 21, 22 requires tool radius compensation, and to do this without having to cut a new hole. Figure 2 illustrates this by showing that when starting to cut in point 2a, left tool radius compensation is used for cutting the contour of the first part 21 to the point 2b. Where the common cut starts, from point 2b to the point 2c, during the common cut part of the contour, no tool radius compensation is used, and from point 2c to point 2d, right tool radius compensation is used for cutting the contour of the second part 22.

[0115] As illustrated in figure 3, it is proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into creating strategically positioned turning areas 35', 36', 37' by making a split cut for this purpose or by cutting a line or contour longer then necessarily required, and controlling the cutting device into using the hereby created gap as a turning area.

[0116] The control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into using the gap as a turning area by controlling the cutting device so that the cutting beam is allowed to catch up with the cutting device in the turning area.

[0117] The catching up of the beam can be provided in different ways. It is possible to adapt the control unit to control the cutting operation into slowing down the cutting speed within the cut gap and accelerate to normal cutting speed as the cutting operation is started on the other side of the gap. A natural cause of the tight turning point in the turning area is that the cutting speed is slowed down as the turn is made, however, in some applications, depending on reliability and/or quality requirements, it might be required to actively slow down, or even stop, the movement in the cutting process in order to make sure that the beam really is allowed to catch up.

[0118] The control unit can also be adapted to control the cutting device into doing a radius within the cut gap, or into doing an angle or phase within the cut gap.

[0119] In the same way, the control unit can be adapted to control the cutting device into allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in an interception point as the cutting beam crosses the interception point.

[0120] As shown in figure 6 it is proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into cutting small angles 6A in two cuts, a first cut 61 and a second cut 62, one cut for each line, wherein each cut 61, 62 is leading into the angle 6A. The figure shows that each cut 61, 62 is leading into the tip 6A' of the angle 6A, but is should be understood that one or both of the cuts does not have to lead all the way to the tip of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint 65 at the tip of the angle as shown in figure 6b.

[0121] Figure 6b shows an embodiment of the present invention, where the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into cutting an angle 6B in two cuts 63, 64, one cut 64 leading into the angle and one cut 63 leading away from the angle. In this figure it is shown that the cut 64 leading into the angle does not lead all the way to the tip 6B' of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint 65 in the tip of the angle, however, it should be understood that both cuts can lead all the way to the tip as shown in figure 6a.

[0122] Figure 11 illustrates different embodiments on how the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into making a new piercing and also how to cut pockets in a cluster. According to these embodiments the set of controlling rules comprises rules stating that a new piercing 11 e' should be made in a pocket area 11e.

[0123] Here it can also be seen that the control unit can control the cutting device into cutting a pocket 11f by making a piercing 11g' and starting a cut in the material 11g surrounding the cluster 11, and then cutting out the pocket 11f, or part of the pocket, within the cluster.

[0124] The cutting device can also be controlled into cutting a second pocket within the cluster by making a piercing 11e' and starting a cut in a first pocket 11e within the cluster 11, and then cutting out the second pocket 11f, or part of the second pocket, within the cluster.

[0125] The cutting device can also be controlled into making a new piercing 11b' in a previously made cut.

[0126] As shown in figure 8 it is proposed that when the distance between two cuts, a first cut 81 and second cut 82, is so small that the properties of the material between the two cuts 81, 82 is affected and start struggle, the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into making respective cut 81, 82 in two partial cuts 81a, 81b, 82a, 82b starting from the outer parts of respective cut towards the centre of respective cut.

[0127] It is also proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into not making the partial cuts 81a, 81b, 82a, 82b all the way along respective cut, but that a micro joint is left between said two partial cuts. Also a third cut 83 is shown where the two partial cuts 83a, 83b are made all the way to close the contour of the third cut 83 without leaving a micro joint.

[0128] It is also proposed that the control unit is adapted to control the cutting device into cutting the cluster of parts totally free from surrounding material or material between parts not belonging to any part.

[0129] Whenever it is not allowed that only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam is found between neighbouring parts, where one part could be another part within the cluster, a part within another cluster cut out of the same piece of material, one or several single parts cut out of the same piece of material, or the outer frame of the surrounding material, the present invention teaches that the control unit is adapted to use a first and a second variable to control the cutting device and allowing a smallest distance between neighbouring parts.

[0130] This is exemplified in figure 9 which illustrates that two or more clusters 9A, 9B, 9C are cut from one piece of material, also showing a part of the outer frame 9D of the surrounding material, all represents neighbouring parts. The clusters can comprise several different parts but for the sake of simplicity the clusters 9A, 9B, 9C are only schematically illustrated as solid parts.

[0131] The first variable represents a first smallest distance a9 between neighbouring parts 9A, 9B with bordering parallel lines 9A', 9B'. The second variable represents a second smallest distance b9 between neighbouring parts 9A, 9C where at least one of the neighbouring parts 9C has a bordering not straight line 9C'. The present invention teaches that the distance b9 represented by the second variable is shorter than the distance a9 represented by the first variable.

[0132] The present invention also teaches that the second distance b9, represented by the second variable, is dependant on the shape of the not straight line 9C'.Figure 9 also shows that a shape 9C" that has a smaller radius will allow a shorter smallest distance d9 between neighbouring parts 9C, 9D than the smallest distance b9 for a shape 9C' that has a larger radius between neighbouring parts 9A, 9C. It is also shown that if at least one of the neighbouring parts 9B has a bordering corner 9B", then the distance c9can be shorter than the distances b9, d9 for other non parallel lines 9C', 9C" represented by the second variable.

[0133] It is also proposed that the control unit is adapted to take into account a third variable representing used material, and a fourth variable representing used beam cutting technology, such as cutting with plasma, laser, flame, water, ions, torch, pellets or air.

[0134] It is also proposed that that the control unit is adapted to take into account a fifth variable representing the width of the cutting beam, which is depending on the third and fourth variable.

[0135] Figure 10 shows that the control unit is adapted to a provide lead in 101 or lead out 102 by means of automatic adjustment of angle, shape and/or length for the lead in 101 or lead out 102, depending on used material, the thickness of the used material and used cutting technology.

[0136] A control unit according to the present invention can be adapted to control the cutting device into performing all cutting operations within the cluster, such as cutting all holes, strategically positioned split cuts, common cuts and pockets and thereby creating required micro joints, before completing the outer contour of the cluster.

[0137] An inventive system can be adapted to function as a tool for computer aided manufacturing (CAM) or computer aided design (CAD), and an inventive control unit can be a numerical controller in a computer numerical control (CNC) machine.

[0138] It should be understood that the control unit can be adapted to automatic implementation of the inventive rules and variables according to set variables and distances without the need of manual intervention.

[0139] The present invention also relates to a computer program product P as schematically illustrated in figure 1, comprising computer program code P1, which when executed enables a computer C to implement the controlling rules and variables according to the inventive method.

[0140] It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the aforedescribed and illustrated exemplifying embodiments thereof and that modifications can be made within the scope of the inventive concept as illustrated in the accompanying Claims.


Claims

1. Method for machine cutting several parts out of a piece of material using a beam cutting technology, said method providing a set of controlling rules and variables for cutting two dimensional shapes or patterns, where one rule or a combination of several rules are used for the cutting operation depending on the shape or pattern to be cut, said shape or pattern forming said parts out of said piece of material, characterised in, that said set of controlling rules comprises rules for the forming of a cluster of parts with free form shapes, said parts being separated by one cut from the cutting beam and positioned so close to each other so that only the thickness of said one cut from the cutting beam is found between adjacent parts whenever the shape of said parts allows it, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises a rule for cutting angles, said rule stating that an angle is cut in two cuts, wherein one cut leads into the angle and one cut leads away from the angle, and wherein at least one cut does not lead all the way to the tip of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint in the tip of the angle, or wherein one or both of the cuts leads past the tip of the angle.
 
2. Method according to claim 1, characterised in, that said set of controlling rules comprises rules for joining said parts together with one or several pockets within said cluster by micro joints holding respective part together with a pocket, and that a micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of contour to be cut.
 
3. Method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises rules for the joining together of said parts by micro joints holding adjacent parts together with each other, and that a micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut.
 
4. Method according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises rules for joining the parts with the material surrounding said cluster by micro joints holding the parts together with the surrounding material, and that a micro joint is made by starting the cut of a contour a set distance into the contour to be cut, or by stopping the cut of a contour a set distance before the end of the contour to be cut.
 
5. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises rules for the creation of strategically positioned turning areas by making a split cut for this purpose or by cutting a line or contour longer then necessarily required, and using the hereby created gap as a turning area.
 
6. Method according to claim 5, wherein the use of said gap as a turning area is done by allowing the cutting beam to catch up with used cutting device in said turning area.
 
7. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises rules for cutting a pocket by making a piercing and starting a cut in the material surrounding said cluster, and then cutting out said pocket, or part of said pocket, within said cluster.
 
8. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises rules for cutting a second pocket within said cluster by making a piercing and starting a cut in a first pocket within said cluster, and then cutting out said second pocket, or part of said second pocket, within said cluster.
 
9. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein whenever it is not allowed that only the thickness of one cut from the cutting beam is found between neighbouring parts, where one part could be another part within said cluster, a part within another cluster cut out of the same piece of material, one or several single parts cut out of the same piece of material, or the outer frame of said surrounding material, at least two different variables are used to set the distance between said neighbouring parts, a first variable representing a first smallest distance between neighbouring parts with bordering parallel lines, and a second variable representing a second smallest distance between neighbouring parts where at least one of said neighbouring parts has a bordering not straight line, where the distance represented by said second variable is shorter than the distance represented by said first variable.
 
10. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein a third variable is representing used material, and that a fourth variable is representing used beam cutting technology, such as cutting with plasma, laser, flame, water, ions, torch, pellets or air.
 
11. Method according to claim 10, wherein a fifth variable is representing the width of said cut, which is depending on said third and fourth variable.
 
12. Method according to any preceding claim comprising providing a lead in or lead out by means of automatic adjustment of angle, shape and/or length for said lead in or lead out, depending on used material, the thickness of said used material and used cutting technology.
 
13. Method according to any preceding claim comprising performing all cutting operations within said cluster, such as cutting all holes, strategically positioned split cuts, common cuts and pockets and thereby creating required micro joints, before completing the outer contour of said cluster.
 
14. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein said method is implemented as a tool for computer aided manufacturing (CAM) or computer aided design (CAD).
 
15. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein said method is implemented as a part of the controlling rules and variables used by a numerical controller in cutting equipment controlled by means of computer numerical control (CNC).
 
16. Method according to any preceding claim, comprising automatic implementation of said rules and variables according to set variables and distances.
 
17. System for machine cutting several parts out of a piece of material, comprising a beam cutting device and a control unit adapted to controlling the beam cutting device, providing a set of controlling rules and variables for cutting two dimensional shapes or patterns, where one rule or a combination of several rules are used for the cutting operation depending on the shape or pattern to be cut, said shape or pattern forming said parts out of said piece of material, characterised in, that said set of controlling rules comprises rules for the forming of a cluster of parts with free form shapes, said parts being separated by one cut from the cutting beam and positioned so close to each other so that only the thickness of said one cut from the cutting beam is found between adjacent parts whenever the shape of said parts allows it, wherein said set of controlling rules comprises a rule for cutting angles, said rule stating that an angle is cut in two cuts, wherein one cut leads into the angle and one cut leads away from the angle, and wherein at least one cut does not lead all the way to the tip of the angle, thus leaving a micro joint in the tip of the angle, or wherein one or both of the cuts leads past the tip of the angle.
 
18. System according to claim 17, wherein said control unit is adapted to automatic implementation of said rules and variables according to any one of claims 1-16, according to set variables and distances.
 
19. Computer program product comprising computer program code, which when executed enables a computer to implement the controlling rules and variables according to anyone of claims 1 to 16.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zum maschinellen Schneiden mehrerer Komponenten aus einem Materialstück unter Verwendung einer Strahlschneidtechnologie, wobei das Verfahren einen Satz Steuerregeln und Variablen zum Schneiden zweidimensionaler Formen oder Strukturen bereitstellt, wobei eine Regel oder eine Kombination mehrerer Regeln abhängig von der zu schneidenden Form oder Struktur für den Schneidvorgang verwendet werden, wobei die Form oder die Struktur die Komponenten aus dem Materialstück bildet, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Bilden einer Gruppe von Komponenten mit freien bildenden Formen umfasst, wobei die Komponenten jedes Mal dann, wenn die Form der Komponenten es zulässt, durch einen Schnitt vom Schneidstrahl getrennt und derart nah aneinander angeordnet werden, dass lediglich die Dicke des einen Schnitts vom Schneidstrahl zwischen benachbarten Komponenten vorhanden ist, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln eine Regel zum Schneiden von Winkeln umfasst, wobei die Regel angibt, dass ein Winkel in zwei Schnitten geschnitten wird, wobei ein Schnitt in den Winkel hineinführt und ein Schnitt vom Winkel wegführt und wobei mindestens ein Schnitt nicht vollständig bis zur Spitze des Winkels führt, womit eine Mikroverbindung in der Spitze des Winkels verbleibt oder wobei einer oder beide der Schnitte über die Spitze des Winkels hinaus führen.
 
2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Miteinander-Verbinden der Komponenten mit einer oder mehreren Vertiefungen in der Gruppe durch Mikroverbindungen, die die jeweilige Komponente mit einer Vertiefung zusammenhalten, umfasst und dass eine Mikroverbindung hergestellt wird, indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand in die zu schneidende Kontur hinein begonnen wird oder indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand vor dem Ende der zu schneidenden Kontur angehalten wird.
 
3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln Regel zum Miteinander-Verbinden der Komponenten durch Mikroverbindungen, die benachbarte Komponenten miteinander zusammenhalten, umfasst und eine Mikroverbindung hergestellt wird, indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand in die zu schneidende Kontur hinein begonnen wird oder indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand vor dem Ende der zu schneidenden Kontur angehalten wird.
 
4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, 2 oder 3, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Verbinden der Komponenten mit dem Material, das die Gruppe umgibt, durch Mikroverbindungen, die die Komponenten mit dem umgebenden Material zusammenhalten, umfasst und eine Mikroverbindung hergestellt wird, indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand in die zu schneidende Kontur hinein begonnen wird oder indem der Schnitt einer Kontur in einem eingestellten Abstand vor dem Ende der zu schneidenden Kontur angehalten wird.
 
5. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Erzeugen strategisch angeordneter Wendebereiche, indem zu diesem Zweck ein Spaltschnitt durchgeführt wird oder indem eine Linie oder eine Kontur länger als notwendigerweise erforderlich geschnitten wird und der hierdurch erzeugte Spalt als ein Wendebereich verwendet wird, umfasst.
 
6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Verwendung des Spalts als ein Wendebereich durchgeführt wird, indem ermöglicht wird, dass der Schneidstrahl in dem Wendebereich zu der verwendeten Schneidvorrichtung aufschließt.
 
7. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Schneiden einer Vertiefung, indem eine Lochung erzeugt und ein Schnitt in das Material, das die Gruppe umgibt, begonnen wird und daraufhin die Vertiefung oder ein Abschnitt der Vertiefung in der Gruppe ausgeschnitten wird, umfasst.
 
8. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Schneiden einer zweiten Vertiefung in der Gruppe, indem eine Lochung erzeugt und ein Schnitt in einer ersten Vertiefung in der Gruppe begonnen wird und daraufhin die zweite Vertiefung oder ein Abschnitt der zweiten Vertiefung in der Gruppe ausgeschnitten wird, umfasst.
 
9. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei jedes Mal dann, wenn nicht zugelassen ist, dass lediglich die Dicke eines Schnitts vom Schneidstrahl zwischen benachbarten Komponenten vorhanden ist, wobei ein Komponente eine weitere Komponente in der Gruppe, eine Komponente in einer weiteren Gruppe, die aus demselben Materialstück geschnitten wird, eine oder mehrere einzelne Komponenten, die aus demselben Materialstück geschnitten werden, oder der äußere Rahmen des umgebenden Materials sein könnte, mindestens zwei verschiedene Variablen verwendet werden, um den Abstand zwischen den benachbarten Komponenten einzustellen, wobei eine erste Variable einen ersten kleinsten Abstand zwischen benachbarten Komponenten mit parallelen Linien als Begrenzung darstellt und eine zweite Variable einen zweiten kleinsten Abstand zwischen benachbarten Komponenten, wobei mindestens eine der benachbarten Komponenten eine Begrenzung aufweist, die keine gerade Linie ist, darstellt, wobei der Abstand, der durch die zweite Variable dargestellt wird, kürzer ist als der Abstand, der durch die erste Variable dargestellt wird.
 
10. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei eine dritte Variable ein verwendetes Material darstellt und eine vierte Variable eine verwendete Strahlschneidtechnologie wie etwa Schneiden mit Plasma, Laser, Flamme, Wasser, Ionen, Brenner, Körnern oder Luft darstellt.
 
11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, wobei eine fünfte Variable die Breite des Schnitts darstellt, die von der dritten und vierten Variablen abhängt.
 
12. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, das das Bereitstellen von Hineinführen oder Herausführen mittels automatischer Einstellung von Winkel, Form und/oder Länge für das Hineinführen oder Herausführen abhängig von dem verwendeten Material, der Dicke des verwendeten Materials und der verwendeten Schneidtechnologie umfasst.
 
13. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, das das Durchführen aller Schneidvorgänge in der Gruppe wie etwa des Schneidens aller Löcher, strategisch angeordneter Spaltschnitte, gemeinsamer Schnitte und Vertiefungen und dadurch des Erzeugens erforderlicher Mikroverbindungen vor dem Abschließen der Außenkontur der Gruppe umfasst.
 
14. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Verfahren als ein Werkzeug zur computerunterstützten Fertigung (CAM) oder computerunterstützten Konstruktion (CAD) implementiert ist.
 
15. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Verfahren als eine Komponente der Steuerregeln und Variablen implementiert ist, die durch eine numerische Steuereinheit in einer Schneidanlage, die mittels numerischer Computersteuerung (CNC) gesteuert wird, verwendet werden.
 
16. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, das eine automatische Implementierung der Regeln und Variablen gemäß eingestellter Variablen und Abstände umfasst.
 
17. System zum maschinellen Schneiden mehrerer Komponenten aus einem Materialstück, das eine Strahlschneidvorrichtung und eine Steuereinheit, die zum Steuern der Strahlschneidvorrichtung ausgelegt ist, wobei sie einen Satz Steuerregeln und Variablen zum Schneiden zweidimensionaler Formen oder Strukturen bereitstellt, umfasst, wobei eine Regel oder eine Kombination mehrerer Regeln abhängig von der zu schneidenden Form oder Struktur für den Schneidvorgang verwendet werden, wobei die Form oder die Struktur die Komponenten aus dem Materialstück bildet, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Satz Steuerregeln Regeln zum Bilden einer Gruppe von Komponenten mit freien bildenden Formen umfasst, wobei die Komponenten jedes Mal dann, wenn die Form der Komponenten es zulässt, durch einen Schnitt vom Schneidstrahl getrennt und derart nah aneinander angeordnet werden, dass lediglich die Dicke des einen Schnitts vom Schneidstrahl zwischen benachbarten Komponenten vorhanden ist, wobei der Satz Steuerregeln eine Regel zum Schneiden von Winkeln umfasst, wobei die Regel angibt, dass ein Winkel in zwei Schnitten geschnitten wird, wobei ein Schnitt in den Winkel hineinführt und ein Schnitt von Winkel wegführt und wobei mindestens ein Schnitt nicht vollständig bis zur Spitze des Winkels führt, womit eine Mikroverbindung in der Spitze des Winkels verbleibt, oder wobei einer oder beide der Schnitte über die Spitze des Winkels hinaus führen.
 
18. System nach Anspruch 17, wobei die Steuereinheit zur automatischen Implementierung der Regeln und Variablen nach einem der Ansprüche 1-16 gemäß eingestellter Variablen und Abstände ausgelegt ist.
 
19. Computerprogrammprodukt, das Computerprogrammcode umfasst, der dann, wenn er ausgeführt wird, ermöglicht dass ein Computer die Steuerregeln und Variablen nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 16 implementiert.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé pour découper à la machine plusieurs pièces dans un morceau de matière en utilisant une technologie de coupe par faisceau, ledit procédé mettant en place un ensemble de règles de commande et de variables pour découper des formes ou motifs bidimensionnels, une règle ou une combinaison de plusieurs règles étant utilisée pour l'opération de découpage en fonction de la forme ou du motif à découper, ladite forme ou ledit motif formant lesdites pièces dans ledit morceau de matière, caractérisé en ce que ledit ensemble de règles de commande comporte des règles servant à former une grappe de pièces de formes libres, lesdites pièces étant séparées par une seule découpe du faisceau de coupe et positionné assez près les unes des autres pour que seule l'épaisseur de ladite découpe du faisceau de coupe se trouve entre des pièces adjacentes chaque fois que la forme desdites pièces le permet, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant une règle pour découper des angles, ladite règle stipulant qu'un angle est découpé en deux découpes, une découpe entrant dans l'angle et une découpe s'écartant de l'angle, et au moins une découpe n'allant pas jusqu'à la pointe de l'angle, laissant ainsi une micro-jointure dans la pointe de l'angle, ou une ou les deux découpes dépassant la pointe de l'angle.
 
2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit ensemble de règles de commande comporte des règles servant à joindre ensemble lesdites pièces avec une ou plusieurs poches à l'intérieur de ladite grappe par des micro-jointures maintenant ensemble des pièces respectives avec une poche, et en ce qu'une micro-jointure est réalisée en commençant la découpe d'un contour à une distance spécifiée à l'intérieur du contour à découper, ou en arrêtant la découpe d'un contour une distance spécifiée avant la fin du contour à découper.
 
3. Procédé selon la revendication 1 ou 2, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant des règles servant à joindre ensemble lesdites pièces par des micro-jointures maintenant des pièces adjacentes solidaires les unes des autres, et en ce qu'une micro-jointure est réalisée en commençant la découpe d'un contour à une distance spécifiée à l'intérieur du contour à découper, ou en arrêtant la découpe d'un contour une distance spécifiée avant la fin du contour à découper.
 
4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, 2 ou 3, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant des règles servant à joindre les pièces avec la matière entourant ladite grappe par des micro-jointures maintenant les pièces solidaires de la matière environnante, et en ce qu'une micro-jointure est réalisée en commençant la découpe d'un contour à une distance spécifiée à l'intérieur du contour à découper, ou en arrêtant la découpe d'un contour une distance spécifiée avant la fin du contour à découper.
 
5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant des règles servant à créer des zones de virage positionnées stratégiquement en réalisant une découpe divisée dans ce but ou en découpant une ligne ou un contour plus longs que nécessaire, et en utilisant l'écartement ainsi créé comme zone de virage.
 
6. Procédé selon la revendication 5, l'utilisation dudit écartement comme zone de virage étant effectuée en laissant le faisceau de coupe rattraper le dispositif de coupe utilisé dans ladite zone de virage.
 
7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant des règles servant à découper une poche en réalisant une perforation et en commençant une découpe dans la matière entourant ladite grappe, puis en découpant ladite poche, ou une partie de ladite poche, à l'intérieur de ladite grappe.
 
8. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant des règles servant à découper une deuxième poche à l'intérieur de ladite grappe en réalisant une perforation et en commençant une découpe dans une première poche à l'intérieur de ladite grappe, puis en découpant ladite deuxième poche, ou une partie de ladite deuxième poche, à l'intérieur de ladite grappe.
 
9. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que chaque fois qu'il n'est pas permis que seule l'épaisseur d'une seule découpe du faisceau de coupe se trouve entre des pièces voisines, une pièce pouvant être une autre pièce à l'intérieur de ladite grappe, une pièce à l'intérieur d'une autre grappe découpée dans le même morceau de matière, une ou plusieurs pièces individuelles découpées dans le même morceau de matière, ou l'encadrement extérieur de ladite matière environnante, au moins deux variables différentes sont utilisées pour spécifier la distance entre lesdites pièces voisines, une première variable représentant une première plus petite distance entre des pièces voisines dotées de lignes de délimitation parallèles, et une deuxième variable représentant une deuxième plus petite distance entre des pièces voisines où au moins une desdites pièces voisines présente une ligne de délimitation non rectiligne, la distance représentée par ladite deuxième variable étant plus courte que la distance représentée par ladite première variable.
 
10. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, une troisième variable représentant la matière utilisée, et une quatrième variable représentant la technologie de coupe par faisceau utilisée, telle qu'une coupe par plasma, laser, flamme, eau, ions, chalumeau, granulés ou air.
 
11. Procédé selon la revendication 10, une cinquième variable représentant la largeur de ladite découpe, qui dépend de ladite troisième et de ladite quatrième variable.
 
12. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comportant le fait de ménager une approche ou un dégagement au moyen d'un réglage automatique d'angle, de forme et/ou de longueur pour ladite approche ou ledit dégagement, suivant la matière utilisée, l'épaisseur de ladite matière utilisée et la technologie de coupe utilisée.
 
13. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comportant les étapes consistant à effectuer toutes les opérations de coupe à l'intérieur de ladite grappe, comme la découpe de tous les trous, des découpes divisées positionnées stratégiquement, des découpes communes et des poches et à créer ainsi des micro-jointures requises, avant d'achever le contour extérieur de ladite grappe.
 
14. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit procédé étant mis en œuvre en tant qu'outil de fabrication assistée par ordinateur (FAO) ou de conception assistée par ordinateur (CAO).
 
15. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit procédé étant mis en œuvre comme une partie des règles de commande et des variables utilisées par une commande numérique dans un équipement de coupe commandé au moyen d'une commande numérique par calculateur (CNC).
 
16. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comportant la mise en œuvre automatique desdites règles et variables selon des variables et des distances spécifiées.
 
17. Système pour découper à la machine plusieurs pièces dans un morceau de matière, comportant un dispositif de coupe par faisceau et une unité de commande prévue pour commander le dispositif de coupe par faisceau, mettant en place un ensemble de règles de commande et de variables pour découper des formes ou motifs bidimensionnels, une règle ou une combinaison de plusieurs règles étant utilisée pour l'opération de découpage en fonction de la forme ou du motif à découper, ladite forme ou ledit motif formant lesdites pièces dans ledit morceau de matière, caractérisé en ce que ledit ensemble de règles de commande comporte des règles servant à former une grappe de pièces de formes libres, lesdites pièces étant séparées par une seule découpe du faisceau de coupe et positionné assez près les unes des autres pour que seule l'épaisseur de ladite découpe du faisceau de coupe se trouve entre des pièces adjacentes chaque fois que la forme desdites pièces le permet, ledit ensemble de règles de commande comportant une règle pour découper des angles, ladite règle stipulant qu'un angle est découpé en deux découpes, une découpe entrant dans l'angle et une découpe s'écartant de l'angle, et au moins une découpe n'allant pas jusqu'à la pointe de l'angle, laissant ainsi une micro-jointure dans la pointe de l'angle, ou une ou les deux découpes dépassant la pointe de l'angle.
 
18. Système selon la revendication 17, ladite unité de commande étant prévue pour la mise en œuvre automatique desdites règles et variables selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 16, selon des variables et des distances spécifiées.
 
19. Produit de programme d'ordinateur comportant du code de programme d'ordinateur qui, lorsqu'il est exécuté, permet à un ordinateur de mettre en œuvre les règles de commande et les variables selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 16.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Non-patent literature cited in the description