What are the most significant technology advances (software or hardware) that are improving these applications for 5-Axis machining? Obviously there are advances in position accuracy and repeatability of the feedback devices and more available processing power, but are there also algorithm developments and more sophisticated application programming techniques that are driving the advances in this area as well?
The more axis, the more chance of accumulating errors. Without a closed loop, 5-axis machines would be machining nightmares. I have a closed loop mill and I recently built an open-loop one for little projects. In the open-loop one, I can see where I lose steps. Over time, if that problem isn't addressed, the home(zero) drifts.
As a side note, I plan on adding a CNC rotary table to one of my mills. Closed loop is a must. That will make my design harder. (closed loop on a stepper? Yikes!)
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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