The FF-TLOM (Free Form Thick Layered Object Manufacturing) technology is a Rapid Prototyping process based on flexible blade cutting of polystyrene foam. The heated blade is shaped by three parameters, which allows an infinite amount of minimum strain energy blade shapes with none, one or two inflexions. In the shaping domain stable and unstable blade shapes can exist. Stable shapes are defined as curves with none and one-inflexion and are applied for operational cutting of foam layers with the FF-TLOM technology. The tool motions are generated from the static tool poses and are calculated for a linear change of the flexible blade, when the cutting tool moves from one tool position to the next. The cutting blade is positioned to the foam slab with help of a point relative positioned on the flexible blade. The tool frame is positioned with a point fixed relatively to the tool frame. During the tool motions the blade curvature is changed and will introduce a shift of the half way point fixed on the blade (especially in the case of asymmetrical support inclinations and high curvature). Next the local displacement of the blade points in the bending plane of the blade due to blade shaping and tool pitching are quantified during the tool motions. These displacements induce an angle of attack of the blade in cutting direction, and will influence cutting speed and cutting accuracy. The quantification software is developed and will be used in the future for an overall prediction of the total tool curve displacements due to blade shaping, such as roll, pitch, yaw and linear positioning motions of the tool. A general rule for FF-TLOM cutting is minimization of all tool motions, which are not related to the forward cutting motion.

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