Example geometry with complex toolpath
The modification of conventional toolpaths into complex patterns is proposed for its enhancements to the incremental forming (IF) process. These paths would be generally set to follow either a helical pattern or stepped down pattern, commonly used in IF. Examples of different types of toolpaths and their variations can be seen in Figure 1-3. These toolpaths may be used in any form of IF (i.e. single point, multi point, double sided, robot assisted, etc.) and encompasses any toolpath which deviates from a generally linear, repeating pattern, to include but is not limited to, toolpaths which contain self-intersecting loops. This technology may be adapted with previously mentioned modifications in order to reduce forming forces greater than the explicit use of these modifications.
Application & Market Utility
IF parts require post processing in order to obtain an acceptable finish. This technology is able to reduce/eliminate post processing of the surface. Additionally, by reducing forming force, higher strength materials may be formed using simple machines, which aids in the expansion of IF to smaller firms in industry. Comparable modifications to the IF process require significantly greater energy input, often in the form of heat or forced spindle rotation. Furthermore, by avoiding forming at elevated temperatures, heat treatments are less likely to be eliminated.
Further testing for use in production parts. Seeking partner for licensing and commercialization.