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A Study on the Quality of Hexapod Machine Tool's Workspace

Authors: D. Karimi, M.J. Nategh


One of the main concerns about parallel mechanisms is the presence of singular points within their workspaces. In singular positions the mechanism gains or loses one or several degrees of freedom. It is impossible to control the mechanism in singular positions. Therefore, these positions have to be avoided. This is a vital need especially in computer controlled machine tools designed and manufactured on the basis of parallel mechanisms. This need has to be taken into consideration when selecting design parameters. A prerequisite to this is a thorough knowledge about the effect of design parameters and constraints on singularity. In this paper, quality condition index was introduced as a criterion for evaluating singularities of different configurations of a hexapod mechanism obtainable by different design parameters. It was illustrated that this method can effectively be employed to obtain the optimum configuration of hexapod mechanism with the aim of avoiding singularity within the workspace. This method was then employed to design the hexapod table of a CNC milling machine.

Keywords: Hexapod, Machine Tool, Singularity, Workspace.

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