Author Topic: Robot milling  (Read 411 times)

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Offline Craig123

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Robot milling
« on: July 31, 2018, 08:28:44 PM »
Hi - I have a good heavy duty robot (Motoman UP130). I am interested in learning what it would take to set it up for Milling soft materials. I have a spindle and can mount it to the robot. I have some light experience with Fusion 360 CAD/CAM. Can anyone give me an idea of what I would need (guessing expensive software) and what it might cost? Thanks

Offline SkyeFire

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Re: Robot milling
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 12:46:43 PM »
For specific answers, you might need to try the MotoMan/Yaskawa forum.

In general, you need either a simulation environment that can output robot program code directly (Grashopper/Rhino, RoboMill, RobotMaster, etc), which usually also requires a robot-brand-specific parser or downloader, or a piece of software on the robot that can accept and run "vanilla" G-Code.

And yes, either option is usually spendy.  They also require some definite learning curve, b/c robots just aren't meant to be CNC machines, so even the best solutions tend to be a bit kludgy at some level.

It's absolutely doable, though.  I ran across an old piece of VB software (proprietary) that would input DXF files, and output KUKA robot programs that would cut the shapes out.  2D-only, but getting a peek at the guts of that software taught me quite a bit about just how complex a task this can be. 

Offline Craig123

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Re: Robot milling
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 10:08:33 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I have looked into some of these software options but never seem to be able to get a clear idea of the actual price range. I guess I get confused by the various add ons to to the main program and then what seem to be annual fees. I mostly just want some idea of what it would cost so I can then decide if it’s worth pursuing.

Offline SkyeFire

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Re: Robot milling
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 12:03:57 PM »
Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those "you have to buy it to find out how much it costs" situations that keep coming up in industry.  I've encountered it with certain machine tool manufacturers -- they simply will not generate a simple, up-front, price list.  Instead, their entire sales model is about face-to-face negotiation with a local rep.

On the software end, it's probably not quite that bad, but you do have a lot of add-ons that will be necessary for your specific application (and others that are a waste of money).  At minimum, you would need a brand-specific downloader/parser for your brand of robot.

The better solution might be to get the CNC package made by the robot manufacturer that can accept "vanilla" G-Code, but I don't know if all robot brands make one.  And it will probably require a fair amount of "tweaking" work on the CAM end to create G-Code that will work with the robot's unique needs.

Offline RossL

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Re: Robot milling
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2018, 04:51:38 PM »
Hi

I am slowly adapting an old staubli arm to milling. I have a cheap milling head (~£100) and created an adapter plate for it. I was able to generate gcode with fusion 360 (free), though a limitation there is that it will only allow "tool down" cutting programs. For full 6 axis you would need something like powermill which is $$$$.

I am hoping to get it machining foam soon though!

Offline victormal

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Re: Robot milling
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 01:11:16 PM »
Hi,

check out this video then:



Best,

Victor