Digital fabrication with collaborative robotics

Middenway, Jayden (2022) Digital fabrication with collaborative robotics. [USQ Project]

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Collaborative robots are typically used for digital fabrication processes in a machine tending implementation where the robot performs the tasks of placing and removing items to be machined. This creates a production line where the robot can outperform humans due to its ability to pick up objects of different weights, sizes, and temperatures faster and at a higher accuracy. It is possible however that the robot is more capable than the machine it is tending due to the high precision and orientation flexibility typical with collaborative robots. This paper investigates the idea that collaborative robots are being employed to tend machines that the robot itself can outperform. The hypothesis is assessed by performing computer numerical control (CNC) milling using a UR5 by Universal Robots (UR) and assessing the accuracy. Autodesk Fusion 360 was used to create models to be milled at different variations of intricacy to simulate in Polyscope, UR’s native software. A prototype design was created for the UR5 to attach a spindle allowing the robot to perform CNC milling. A graph was created to plot ten popular three-axis CNC machines of varying accuracy against their cost in USD where the average accuracy of the UR5 can then be used to define its relevant cost as a three-axis CNC machine.

Machining was successfully simulated and later physically tested including five plane machining where the robot approaches the object to conduct three axis machining from five different planes to replicate multiaxis machining capabilities. The accuracy results provided an error up to 1.5mm with an average error of 0.89mm. All values however were positive errors which indicates a bias likely caused by a flawed design and/or cheap design parts. Assessing the imprecision of the errors gave a predicted accuracy of 0.275mm. The results indicate that the UR5 has no significant cost as a CNC machine when precise accuracy is desired however, the estimated accuracy is still an acceptable CNC performance where minute accuracy is not of importance. Though the results of the report can only provide an estimate of the accuracy, the overarching aim of the report has been satisfied. Collaborative robots can be used for digital fabrication.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Lobsey, Craig
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic)
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 22:49
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 01:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collaborative robotics; Digital Fabrication; CNC

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