Characterization of a vertical two axis lathe

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Leclerc, Michael Edward
Kurfess, Thomas R.
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The primary barrier to the production of better machined parts is machine tool error. Present day applications are requiring closer machine part tolerances. The errors in dimensional part accuracy derive from the machine, in this case, a vertical two axis CNC lathe. A two axis vertical lathe can be utilized to produce a variety of parts ranging from cylindrical features to spherical features. A vertical lathe requires a spindle to rotate the work at speeds reaching 3000rpm, while simultaneously requiring the machine tool to be positioned in such a manner to remove material and produce an accurate part. For this to be possible, the machine tool must be precisely controlled in order to produce the correct contours on the part. There are many sources of errors to be considered in the two axis vertical lathe. Each axis of importance contains six degrees of freedom. The machine has linear displacement, angular, spindle thermal drift, straightness, parallelism, orthogonal, machine tool offset and roundness error. These error components must be measured in order to determine the resultant error. The characterization of the machine addresses thermal behavior and geometric errors. This thesis presents the approach of determining the machine tool errors and using these errors to transform the actual tool path closer to the nominal tool path via compensation schemes. One of these schemes uses a laser interferometer in conjunction with a homogenous transformation matrix to construct the compensated path for a circular arc, facing and turning. The other scheme uses a ball bar system to directly construct the compensated tool path for a circular arc. Test parts were created to verify the improvement of the part accuracy using the compensated tool paths.
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