This study aims to report the development of a provisional robotic cell for additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic parts. To this end, the paper discusses cross-disciplinary concepts related to the development of the robotic cell and the associated command and control system such as the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) interface, the slicing software and the path planning for the robot manipulator toward printing the selected workpiece. This study also reports the development of a virtual production cell that simulates the AM toolpath generated for the desired workpiece, the adaptation of the simulation environments to enable AM and the development of a user application to setup, command and control the AM processes. If a digital twin setup is efficiently built, with a good correlation between the simulation environment and the real systems, developers may explore this functionality to significantly reduce the development cycle, which can be very long in AM applications where metallurgic properties, part distortion and other properties need to be monitored and controlled.
Link to paper: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IR-11-2019-0237/full/html