New Features

This new version brings with it a new major feature that supports Custom Tools, Input/Output Signals and User Frames. This is the complete list of features that we implemented for v1.1.1

  • Define TCP through Eulers or Quaternions, this will allow simulation to match your robot configuration.
  • Model your own tools and use them in RAPCAM.
  • Save your custom tools with a name for re-use when you start up RAPCAM next time.
  • We implemented Lead In / Lead Out functionality so that the robot does not get into the cutting path immediately through joint movement.
  • Define User Frames in RAPCAM.
  • Input/Output signals for ABB, Kuka and Fanuc robot instructions, these allow for more advanced workflow scenarios.
  • Bug fixes on interface freezes are now resolved by making simulation flow improvements, this increases the UI speed.
  • Kuka, Fanuc and ABB robots were tested to generate instructions that work correctly with RAPCAM

 

Define TCP through Eulers or Quaternions

All types of robots allow users to teach Tool Center Points (TCP). When this is done, software needs to be informed about the TCP of the robot in order to simulate the orientations correctly when given the target planes. TCP’s are defined through point coordinates (which reflect the point on the tool that will be touching the target plane) and orientation information through Euler or Quaternion rotations. ABB uses quaternion notation, Fanuc and Kuka – Euler. These need to be entered accordingly now when selecting a tool.

 

Figure 1 – Define TCP, geometry and save tool by giving it a name

 

Model your own tools and use them in RAPCAM

You can now model your own tools and save them for later use. World XY plane is used as the base plane which will be mounted on the robot. We advise you to model your tool separatelyand then import it to RAPCAM model.

 

Save your custom tools with a name for re-use when you start up RAPCAM next time

It makes sense to allow to save a lot of custom tools for re-use. It is important to note that if you reinstall RAPCAM, these saved tools can potentially be deleted. It is always a good idea to have those tools saved separately. In the Figure 1 you can see that for every tool users save, it is possible to give it a name. After saving the tool, next time it will appear in tool drop down list and you will be able to switch.

 

Lead In / Lead Out functionality

To reach a first point it is handy to have some pre existing dummy point in space. This allows to reach the cutting path in more predictable way without ruining your model. In Figure 2 you can see the Lead in and Lead out inputs, which become visible when selecting “Activate Leadin And Leadout” checkbox.

 

Figure 2 – Lead in and Lead out

 

Define User Frames in RAPCAM

User Frame is a coordinate system that makes modeling and interpreting robot instruction code easier for the user. Usually User Frame in reality is aligned with the coordinate system of user’s table. There are few important things to be done in order for this workflow to work as expected:

  • If users want to work with such coordinate systems in Rhino they should use ‘CPlane‘ command, which will change the base coordinate system from world to that defined by the user.
  • Users robot should be informed that it uses a custom User Frame. User needs to put values that are set up in the robot to these RAPCAM fieldsbefore generating the instructions:

 

Figure 3 – User Frame setup

 

Important thing to note is that User Frame, as TCP takes origin coordinates and then orientation information. This is dependant on the robot type. ABB will use Quaternions, Fanuc and Kuka – Eulers.

 

Input/Output signals

IO signals are used to inform tools to open or close grippers, start or stop of spraying the material while printing. These scenarios are quite common in the industry and RAPCAM allows easy to use way to group points of the path to command sets. This can be done through following panel:

 

Figure 4 – IO signals

 

We allow users to create multiple sets of commands with multiple points of the path linked to that command. This is flexible enough to understand many standard use cases.

 

To sum up

We do not cover performance improvements and small bug fixes here, but there are plenty of things that got better in this release. Be sure to try it out. We hope that these features will allow RAPCAM to be used by wider audience of users.