When a tool path is first created, it is a series of XYZ positions that the tool moves along; in order to complete the pass, a matching series of orientation angles must be assigned for every XYZ point on the tool path sequence. SculptPrint has many helpful features to make it as simple as possible to generate these orientations. In the last blog post, the concept of an access map was introduced; in this post, this concept is extending to an access space.
When the sequence of access maps for each step of an entire tool pass are placed in order, the access space is created. Each access map is a digital image and the series of maps forms a video sequence. The access space shows the accessible and inaccessible orientations of the tool from the start to finish of the tool pass.
To create orientations, the goal is to find a series of rotations in which the tool remains in accessible positions. The proper orientations on the tool pass can be thought of as a path through a tunnel in the access space, depicted in white on the model below.
SculptPrint uses computer vision algorithms to create a path through these tunnels. These paths are called “access paths”. When one tunnel comes to an end, SculptPrint knows to switch to a new tunnel. The green paths show examples of this “tunnel switching”. When a tunnel is changed, the tool path is split and the tool is directed to retract to a safe distance in order to reorient.