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5 Axis Machining Questions


I am new to RoboDK, and I'm trying to set up a 5-axis machining path with collision avoidance using a robot machining project. I have run into a few issues, which I'd appreciate help with:

1) When I import my CAM file (.apt, created with CAMWorks), I get the following error referring to some of the GOTO commands: "invalid cycle parameters". The resulting toolpath does not follow the intended path. Do you know what the issue may be or where I could find documentation on this error?

2) I have loaded the CollisionFreePlanner plug-in and selected "allow automatic collision avoidance" in the CAM tab of the options window. To try and generate a collision free toolpath, I've selected "Avoid Collisions" under optimization parameters in the machining project options. However, when I hit update, the program is extremely slow to check feasibility (5% in 30+ min). I haven't gotten it to work yet. Is there anything I am missing?

3) When I try to create a simple collision-free map (with 10 samples and 5 edges per sample), RoboDK stops responding. Is there a way to improve this?

Thanks in advance for your help! 

- J
An update to 1):

GOTO commands within a drill cycle don't seem to show up. I've included an example apt file below. If I move the GOTO commands to after CYCLE/OFF, the robot follows the correct path, but does not move along the tool's z axis to simulate drilling at each of the hole locations. 

INSERT/Stock Size X63. Y27. Z4.
We just improved RoboDK to support the type of drilling you provided generated with CAMWorks. I recommend you to update RoboDK (only the Windows version has been updated for now). It looks like the commands FEDTO and RTRCTO are equivalent to DEPTH and CLEAR respectively (comparing it to APT-CLS). Let me know if it is not the case or the output does not look like what you were expecting.


Automatic collision checking for robot milling projects may take a lot of resources depending on the shape of the parts and also your collision map (what items you want to check for collisions). I would recommend you to narrow collision checking only to the part and the tool to start with. More tips here:

There was a bug with the RoboDK version available from our website last week involving plugins such as the PRM plugin. This has been fixed with the latest version published today (Windows version only).

Hi Albert,

Thank you! The new version of the program fixed the issue with drilling. The PRM plugin also appears to be working now.

A few follow up questions about automatic collision checking: I tried running it with just the two bodies that have been colliding in my tool path (thanks - that sped things up a lot!), and it wasn't able to find a path with no collisions for which all points were reachable (I allowed a tool Z rotation of +/-180 degrees in 10 degree increments). However, when I manually adjust the tool orientation for certain commands using a relative tool shift of +/-90 deg, I can create a path that works. Is there somewhere I can learn more about how the automatic collision checking works and see why it isn't identifying that path? For instance, does it need to generate a collision free map, similar to the PRM plugin, before calculating the path, or does it iterate through various tool paths until it finds one with no collisions? Is there a point at which it times out?

Thanks again for your quick response!

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