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Strategy features for communicating aesthetic shapes for manufacturing

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The STEP effort and the STEP-NC project have produced a great deal of work on features for mechanical parts and how to manufacture parts based on these. However, there is at present less information about how to manufacture aesthetic products with less well-defined features. The aim of the present paper is to describe an approach to communication and machining features in stone products. The work was done as part of a project, LITHO-PRO, which had the main aim of developing machining for dry high-speed milling of stone and industrial ceramics. As part of this project the EPFL worked on CAD and CAM functions for aesthetic products. Since the main aim of the project was to develop a new machine and machining process, it was decided that the STEP-NC philosophy was appropriate for communication. However, the stone products are usually aesthetic rather than functional so the feature set defined in the STEP AP-224 document could not be used directly. The aim of the paper is to present an approach to feature definition in terms of manufacturing strategies which is an extension to the classical, mechanical engineering features already determined as part of STEP.
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Keywords: Aesthetic features; LITHOPRO; STEP-NC

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: EPFL, STI-IPR-LICP, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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