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Validating Portability of Step-NC Tool Center Programming



Sid Venkatesh, David Odendahl, Xun W. Xu, John L. Michaloski, Frederick M. Proctor, Thomas Kramer


A joint effort between Boeing and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was undertaken for validating and evaluating STEP AP238 (STEP-NC) Conformance Class 1 (CC1) for 5-axis machining. STEP-NC is a new manufacturing standard to support ?design anywhere, build anywhere, and support anywhere.? The joint Boeing/NIST validation intended to prove that five-Axis AP-238 programs with tool center programming (TCP), as opposed to that of axis movement data, are portable. Current RS274 ?G code? part programs that use axis movement data are bound to a single CNC, are ineffective on different machine tools, and cannot be used for the exchange of information between process planning, work preparation, tooling, and other production processes. All of these obstacles add considerable time and cost to the production life cycle of a machine part. This paper discusses the joint Boeing/NIST STEP-NC TCP validation work. The major findings were that STEP-NC TCP geometrical data is portable across different 5-axis configuration CNCs. This came with a caveat, that although CNC programs can be ?data-neutral?, they are not necessarily ?processneutral?.
Conference Dates
September 24-28, 2005
Conference Location
Long Beach, CA, US
Conference Title
IDETC/CIE ASME International 25th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference


AP238, machine tool, milling, open-architecture, Smart Machining, Standards, STEP, Tool Center Programming


Venkatesh, S. , Odendahl, D. , Xu, X. , Michaloski, J. , Proctor, F. and Kramer, T. (2006), Validating Portability of Step-NC Tool Center Programming, IDETC/CIE ASME International 25th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Long Beach, CA, US, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created June 25, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021