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5-Axis Toolpath Optimization for a Turgo Turbine Runner

by

May Thant Sin

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the


degree of Master of Engineering in
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Examination Committee:

Nationality:
Previous Degree:

Scholarship Donor:

Assoc. Prof. Erik L. J. Bohez (Chairperson)


Dr. Mongkol Ekpanyapong
Dr. Than Lin
Dr. Ketsaya Vacharanukul (External Expert)

Myanmar
Bachelor of Engineering in
Electronic and Communication Engineering
Yangon Technological University
Myanmar
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Asian Institute of Technology


School of Engineering and Technology
Thailand
December 2014

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have helped me in all
aspects during the past couple of years. Especially to my advisor Assoc. Prof. Erik L. J.
Bohez for the fruitful comments, remarks, engagement, teaching and thorough guidance
in the pursuit of this master thesis. Also to other committee members: Dr. Mongkol
Ekpanyapong and Dr. Than Lin for their helpful comments, guidance and pointing out
what I should emphasize more and the external expert, Dr. Ketsaya Vacharanukul for the
great assistance throughout the manufacturing periods of the prototype in National
Institute of Metrology and also for the useful evaluation for my thesis. To Mr. Somchai
Taopanich who has contributed so much to my accomplishment of the whole process by
sharing his experience as a machine expert and lab specialist and giving helpful advice to
me whenever I needed. To Mr. Choosak Ngaongam for his hearty assistance to me from
the beginning to the end: from the installation of software to the application of them and
the advice to find the alternative way to solve problems whenever I have requested. To
Mr. Kiattisak Sakulphan for giving a hand to me while I asked for the reference documents
and also the advice from him. Furthermore I would like to thank to the responsible
personnel from the National Institute of Metrology who have allowed me to utilize their
machine and helped me accomplish my work flawlessly.
In addition, I would like to show my special thanks to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway
for giving me the chance to pursue further study in AIT so that I can contribute much more
not only to the betterment of my life but also the welfare of the society.
Finally, I give praise to my parents for their endless support and my lovely friends. Without
the encouragement of those peoples, I cannot stand all the way long to see the beautiful
end. As one embraced me with words, life is a climb but the view is great. I will be grateful
forever for all your love and never forget such a lovely support.

ii

ABSTRACT
The Turgo turbine model is developed based on the parametric dimensions from the onedimensional calculation using Solidworks. It is then imported into MasterCam to generate
tool path conducting ruled surface milling. After that, it is post-processed in Mathamatica
based on Inverse Kinematic. Using the NC file with G-code, the verification is
implemented in Vericut. When tool path is optimized, the prototype is produced with Haas
5-Axis machine with flank milling.
The e-Design concept is applied during the optimization process. The integrated e-design
phase and manufacturing phase is working in parallel. The designed model is revised
several time according to the optimization of tool path generation based on the verified
results using the virtual 5-Axis machine in Vericut with good surface finish, less
manufacturing time, the avoidance of tool break, tool wear, and less scallop. The optimized
machining sequence includes roughing of the extra materials first, then finishing the 20
blades using flank milling 10 mm bull-end tool. The total manufacturing time for
implementing the optimized too path is 4 hours and 45 minutes. With this tool path, the
surface finish, the manufacturing time and the collision avoidance with less tool travel are
optimized. Still, there is one scallop in the bottom as the big tool effect. However it is not
the critical since it has no affect the flow mechanism and can be developed later.
Keyword: Turgo turbine, 5-axis machining, Optimization, e-Design, Runner blade

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER TITLE

PAGE

TITLE PAGE
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABSTRACT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
LIST OF SYMBOLS

i
ii
iii
iv
vi
viii
ix
x

INRODUCTION
1.1
Background
1.2 Statement of the problems
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Scope and limitations

LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1
Turgo turbine
2.1.1 Parametric modelling of Turgo turbine
2.2
Flank milling with 5-axis machining
2.2.1 5-axis machine
2.2.2 Flank milling
2.3
e-Design process

3
3
4
7
7
8
11

APPROACH TO THE OPTIMIZATION PROCESS


3.1
Work flow of the whole optimization process
3.2
Application of e-Design

13
13
14

OPTIMIZATION PROCESS
4.1
Parametric modelling: One-dimensional calculation for
the turbine design
4.2
CAD/ CAM Iteration (1)
4.2.1 Mechanical design
4.2.2 Toolpath generation
4.3
CAD/ CAM Iteration (2)
4.3.1 Redesigned process
4.3.2 Toolpath regeneration
4.3.3 Post-processing
4.3.4 Verification of tool path for Turgo turbine revision
4.4
CAD/ CAM Iteration (3)
4.4.1 Design and experiments
4.5
CAD/ CAM Iteration (4)
4.5.1 5-axis machining
4.5.2 Comparison of machining time, scallop, undercut
and overcut
4.5.3 Optimized setup

16
16

iv

1
1
2
2
2

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30
36
41
41
45
46
49
52

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION


5.1
Conclusion
5.2
Recommendation

54
54
55

REFERENCES
APPENDIXES

56
58

LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE

TITLE

Figure 1.1

The torque generation mechanism for: (a) Pelton turbine and


(b) Turgo turbine
Drawing of the 1920 Crewdson Turgo design showing the inlet
plane and cut section with jet trace on the inlet wheel plane
shaded
(a) Earliest design of Giovanni Branca (b) Sketch of the Turgo
turbine design
Turgo runner configuration:(a)Meridian plane
(b)Velocity triangles
Free body diagram of Turgo shaft
Diagram of blade curve
Water jet and blade curve
5-axis machine with linear and rotation axis
(a) Vertical machining and (b) Horizontal machining
Kinematic change diagram
Undercut and overcut
Tool movement and cutter location
Tool orientation and undercut
Tool cross-section
Reduction of undercut
Methodology of tool path optimization of Turgo turbine runner
Flow chart for the optimization process
Cross-section of Turgo runner
The inlet angle, outlet angle, and the velocity diagram
One-dimensional calculation in Excel
Design process of Turgo turbine
Tool selection (a) 6 mm bull-end tool and
(b) 10 mm bull-end tool
Tool path generation using the Turgo turbine
Design process of Turgo turbine revision model
Tool path generation for Turgo turbine revision model
Tool path generation for 20 blades
Step-by-step formatting of CL file
Haas 5-axis machine and the coordinate systems
Positive B rotation along Z-axis
Positive A rotation along X-axis
Machine setting (a) Travel limits and (b) Tooling offset
(c) 6mm milling tool parameter (d) 10mm milling tool parameter
(a) Blank part and (b) the fixture
Toolpath verification for combination of B1B3A3 rotation angle
translation
Toolpath verification for combination of B4B1A1 rotation angle
translation
Rotation of tool path in 19.5 degree
Design process of creating the blade with concave and convex
surfaces

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2
Figure 2.3
Figure 2.4
Figure 2.5
Figure 2.6
Figure 2.7
Figure 2.8
Figure 2.9
Figure 2.10
Figure 2.11
Figure 2.12
Figure 2.13
Figure 2.14
Figure 3.1
Figure 3.2
Figure 4.1
Figure 4.2
Figure 4.3
Figure 4.4
Figure 4.5
Figure 4.6
Figure 4.7
Figure 4.8
Figure 4.9
Figure 4.10
Figure 4.11
Figure 4.12
Figure 4.13
Figure 4.14
Figure 4.15
Figure 4.16
Figure 4.17
Figure 4.18
Figure 4.19

PAGE

vi

2
3

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5
5
6
6
7
8
8
9
9
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13
14
16
17
20
23
25
26
28
29
30
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34
34
35
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38
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42

Figure 4.20
Figure 4.21
Figure 4.22
Figure 4.23
Figure 4.24
Figure 4.25
Figure 4.26
Figure 4.27
Figure 4.28

Figure 4.29
Figure 4.30

Tool path verification for blade with 7 concave layers in 1.5


degree
Tool path verification for blade with 6 concave layers in 1.5
degree
Tool path verification for blade with 5 concave layers in 1.5
degree
(a) HAAS machine (b) The assembly of blank part and fixture on
the machine
Modification of post-processor
Vibration effect
Combination of 4 roughing cuts and 1 finishing cut
Demonstration of scallop and surface finish of different setup
Demonstration of overcut (a) 0.5 mm overcut on convex surface
(6 mm cutter) (b) 0.8 mm overcut on convex surface (10 mm
cutter)
Design process of the optimized model
Demonstration of machining process

vii

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44
45
46
47
47
48
51
51

52
53

LIST OF TABLES
TABLE

TITLE

PAGE

Table 4.1
Table 4.2
Table 4.3

Important parameters for CAD modelling


Inter-distance between blades
Comparison table of manufacturing time

viii

21
24
49

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AIT Asian Institute of Technology
CAD Computer Aided Design
CAM Computer Aided Manufacturing
CL
Cutter Location
NIMT National Institute of Metrology
NURB Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline

ix

LIST OF SYMBOLS
Ds
d
dh
dt
b1
B
1a
2a
1t
2t
1h
2h
Ra
Rt
Rh
c
H
Qk
n

u1

Diameter of the runner


Diameter of the jet
Diameter of the hub
Diameter of the tip
Inlet Width
Runner Width
Inlet Angle (Average)
Outlet Angle (Average)
Inlet Angle (tip)
Outlet Angle (tip)
Inlet Angle (hub)
Outlet Angle (hub)
Arc Radius (Average)
Arc Radius (tip)
Arc Radius (hub)
Mean Velocity of Jet
Height of Water
Nominal Flow Rate
Runner Speed
Nozzle Efficiency
Circumferential Runner Speed

(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
(degree)
(degree)
(degree)
(degree)
(degree)
(degree)
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
( )
(m)
(3 )
(rpm)
(3 )

u1

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
Nowadays the world is growing with a tremendous rate and the developments in every aspect
of the world, especially in the physical world, was amazing. However, thanks to this, the
need for energy especially the needs for electricity has become most demanding factors. As
regards this case, in order to fulfill the world electricity requirement, there are four way to
produce electricity from the wind (wind power), the water (hydro power), the sun (solar
power) and the fossil fuel.
Out of these electricity production method, hydro power is the free and renewable energy
source which can be utilized effectively to generate electricity from the falling water or
running water using Turbine. It stands as a clean source for the production of electricity since
it never lead to the air pollution like power plants that burn fossil fuels, such as coal or natural
gas. It uses the Earths water cycle to generate electricity because movement of water as it
flows downstream creates kinetic energy that can then be converted into electricity. Its a
clean source for the production of electricity. It doesnt pollute the air like power plants that
burn fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas.
Water turbine extracts electricity from the fluid flow by converting the kinetic energy of
water into the potential energy which is converted into electrical energy by the attached
generator. Depending on the type of energy at the inlet of the turbine, they can be classified
into two categories: Impulse turbines which convert the kinetic energy of a jet of water to
mechanical energy and Reaction turbine which convert potential energy in pressurized water
to mechanical energy.
In this respect, the Turgo turbine which will further be investigated for the toolpath
optimization in this paper is one of the Impulse turbines. A Turgo runner looks like a Pelton
runner split in half. For the same power, the Turgo runner is one half the diameter of the
Pelton runner, and so twice the specific speed. The Turgo can handle a greater water flow
than the Pelton because exiting water doesn't interfere with adjacent buckets. The specific
speed of Turgo runners is between the Francis and Pelton. Single or multiple nozzles can be
used. Increasing the number of jets increases the specific speed of the runner by the square
root of the number of jets (four jets yield twice the specific speed of one jet on the same
turbine).
Both Pelton and Turgo turbines generate their torque through the change in momentum of
an incoming jet of water. Turgo turbines differ from Pelton turbines by the angle of the
incoming water jet. In Turgo turbines the jet enters and exits the wheel plane at an acute
angle whereas in Pelton turbines the jet remains in the same wheel plane. Therefore, the
water in a Turgo turbine exits from the bottom of the wheel and does not interfere with the
incoming jet. This allows the diameter of the wheel to be smaller for a given jet diameter,
increasing the rotational speed. (Williamson, Stark, & Booker, 2013)

Figure 1.1 The torque generation mechanism for: (a) Pelton turbine and
(b) Turgo turbine (Williamson, Stark, & Booker, 2013)
1.2

Statement of the problems

At present, the manufacturing of the Turgo turbine had been started under the interesting
topic in the commercial field. However owing to the complex geometry of the turbine, there
are less manufacturers in the global market. In fact, there is no local manufacturer for the
Turgo turbine in the Thailand yet. What is more, although the turbines are manufactured
with the application of the particular technologies, no optimal tool path is performed for
cutting the runners in the five-axis machine yet. As a matter of fact, if the tool path is
optimized, it would breed great benefit to the manufacturers since it will increment the
productivity reducing cost and time and also improve the quality of the runner with the better
surface finish. In this regard, since the tool path is optimized from the manufacturing aspect,
to reduce the long implementation period for the optimization, the concurrent engineering or
E-design concept is applied. By then, the whole optimization is carried out effectively by
executing all CAD/ CAM process: CAD modelling, tool path generation, post-processing
and verification and finally 5-axis machining in parallel.
1.3

Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to optimize the 5-axis tool path of the runner of the Turgo
turbine for the better accuracy, minimum cutting time with shortest tool path along with no
collision, less scallop on the hub surface and minimal undercut/overcut on the blade.
1.4

Scope and limitations

The parametric modelling of the Turgo turbine is based on the one-dimensional


calculation from the literature review.
Only the optimization of the 5-axis tool path for a Turgo turbine runner from the
manufacturing point of view will be emphasized in this study.
The prototyping of small runner using wood resin as a material for the blank part is
aimed at due to the objective of the study is to find optimal tool path only and not to
use it in the field and also thanks to some machine constraints such as machine range,
maximum power, tool size, etc.
The whole optimization process will be implemented by using four softwares mainly
as follows: The modelling of the turbines by using Solidworks, the tool path
generation and optimization by MasterCam, the post-processing by Mathematica, the
verification by Vericut.
2

CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
Nowadays, as the requirements of the electricity for the population have been increased, the
demand for the hydropower plants became higher and higher all over the world. In this
respect, the improvement to effective manufacturing technology for the water turbine
contribute not only to the manufacturers but also to the consumers in a positive way. Thanks
to this, the tool path optimization of a Turgo turbine runner is executed using 5-axis
machining technology. Therefore, in this chapter, the mechanical design and manufacturing
method will be discussed.
2.1 Turgo turbine
As regards Turgo turbines which will be emphasized in this study, it is the impulse turbine
type. The Turgo wheel is basically an improved version of the Pelton. It was designed by
Eric Crewdson in 1920. The maximum efficiency of an impulse wheel is achieved when the
velocity of the runners at the center line of the nozzle is half the velocity of the incoming
water. To achieve the highest velocities the ratio of the diameter of the wheel and the
diameter to the center of the nozzle should be as small as possible. A Turgo runner looks like
a Pelton runner split in half. For getting the same power, a Turgo runner being one half the
diameter of a Pelton runner, it can twice the specific speed of Peltons. This makes the unit
cheaper and reduces the amount of gearing necessary. Turgo can handle a greater water flow
than the Pelton because exiting water doesn't interfere with adjacent buckets. The Turgo has
an efficiency of over 80% and runs on head of 18.3 meter or more.

Figure 2.1 Drawing of the 1920 Crewdson Turgo design showing the inlet plane and
cut section with jet trace on the inlet wheel plane shaded
(Anagnostopoulos & Papantonis, 2008)
It doesn't need an airtight housing like the Francis higher specific speed and can handle a
greater flow than the same diameter Pelton wheel operate in a head range where the Francis
and Pelton overlap. It possesses higher angular velocity due to smaller runner diameter. It
can avoid the turn multiplier in the coupling with electrical generator. Moreover, it can
decrease cost and increase mechanical reliability of the system.

Figure 2.2 (a) Earliest design of Giovanni Branca (b) Sketch of the Turgo turbine
design (Anagnostopoulos & Papantonis, 2008)
By using Turgo turbine, all initial potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy with a
nozzle. High speed water jet is directed on turbine blades which deflect and reverse the flow
resulting the impulse that spins the runner and imparting energy to the shaft. The moving
fluid forces on the blade rotate the rotor of the generator and convert the mechanical energy
of the shaft to electrical energy by the attached motor.
2.1.1 Parametric modelling of the Turgo turbine
In order to achieve the parametric model of the turgo runner, the dimensions of the runner
are calculated based on the nominal flow rate (Q), net head (H) and shaft rotation speed (n).
The jet diameter (d) can be obtained from the nominal flow rate (QK) and mean velocity of
the jet (c).

Where is the efficiency of the nozzle and taken as 0.97.


Then the runner diameter can be calculated from circumferential speed (u1) of the runner
which is related to jet velocity (c).

After getting the jet diameter and runner diameter, the diameter of the hub (dh) and tip (dt)
can be obtained.
dh = Ds d
dt = Ds + d

Moreover the inlet width (b1) can also be obtained since it is larger than jet diameter (d) (b1
= 1.2 d ) to make sure water jet entrance for highest flow rate. In addition the runner width
(B) in the axial direction is taken as 1.45 d. Then the blade inlet and outlet angles, 1 and 2
can be computed form the corresponding velocity triangles (Fig 2.3 b).

Figure 2.3 Turgo runner configuration: (a) Meridian plane (b) Velocity triangles
(Anagnostopoulos & Papantonis, 2008)

Figure 2.4 Free body diagram of Turgo shaft


(Kiattisak, Bohez, Choosak, & Somchai)
For Inlet Angle 1 ,

= 90

1 = 180 65
For Outlet Angle 2,

2
Then to get the center points of the curves: hub, average and tip, that represent the blade, the
calculation is implemented based on the runner width (B). The curve of the runner is circle
since its derivative is linear function which matched with the requirement of the linear
variation of the tangent. There the radius of each circle also needed to find out. The following
are the formulae used to calculate the radius and center point location of each circle.

Figure 2.5 Diagram of blade curve

Z = R cos 1
X = R sin 1
After that, in order to find the number of blades to equip in the whole assembly, the concept
that the water coming from the water jet hit the three blades was applied.

Figure 2.6 Water jet and blade curve


6

Finally the CAD model of the Turgo Turbine can be designed based on the calculated result
of the above-mentioned one-dimension calculation. (Anagnostopoulos, J. S., & Papantonis,
D. E., 2008)
2.2 Flank milling with 5-axis machining
The utilization of 5-axis machining for the production of a Turgo turbine runner is
advantageous not only to increase the productivity of the product since it can implement all
the machining operation in single setup but also it can optimize the product with the
enhancement of the part quality and the tool by setting the cutting speed and depth of cut
conditionally. What is more, it is very useful for the mass production for having the
automotive tool change (ATC) system. Today machines with a tool exchange time below 1
s are available. (Bohez, E. L., 2002). Due to this, this technology has already applied
successfully in the manufacturing of complex parts such as turbine blades or impellers (Lin,
T., Lee, J. W., & Bohez, E. L., 2009). In this respect, the term that 5-axis machining
comprises of all the processes from the selection of tool, the material, the generation of tool
path, the simulation of virtual machining. Only after the simulation, the possible problems
such as the collision of tool against part or jigs and fixtures and the undercut and overcut can
be inspected and avoided.
2.2.1 5-axis machine
The five degrees of freedom in 5-axis machining bring about more independency in
controlling the motion on the machine slides. Standard machines are ability to perform three
linear motions along X and Y axis of the working table and the tool axis along Z-axis, and
three rotational movement in A rotation around X-axis, B rotation around Y axis and C
rotation around Z axis. (Fig 2.7) Depending on the tool orientation, the machine can be
identified into two types: the vertical machine when the tool is in the vertical position (Figure
2.8 a) and the horizontal machine when the tool is in the horizontal position (Figure 2.8 b).

Figure 2.7 5-axis machine with linear and rotation axis (Bohez, E. L., 2002)
7

(a)

(b)

Figure 2.8 (a) Vertical machining and (b) Horizontal machining


(Bohez, E. L., 2002)
The nature of working mechanism of a 5-axis machine can be represented with the kinematic
diagram of that machine since it is similar to two cooperating robots, one robot carrying the
work piece and one robot carrying the tool. The kinematic diagram which is also called the
chain diagram distinguish two groups of axes exclusively: the work piece carrying axes and
the tool carrying axes. The example of the kinematic diagram of the five-axis machine can
be observed in Fig. 2.9.

Figure 2.9 Kinematic change diagram (Bohez, E .L., 2002)


2.2.2 Flank milling
As regards Turgo turbine, the runner blades are created with ruled surface with three
reference curves: the hub, the average and the tip and a straight line sliding over the reference
curve. Therefore the application of flank milling is the most appropriate method since the
machining can be performed over ruled surface which is obtained by the motion of the rule
8

on the guiding rail. In this case, the machining is implemented using the cylindrical cutters
with a large depth of cut but still using the minimum shortest tool, reducing the machining
and improving surface finish. According the previous record, the flank milling have
successfully applied for the machining of complex products such as aircraft structural parts,
turbine blades and other mechanical parts.
However, with the utilization of the flank milling through 5-axis machining, some problems
such as the interference owing the usage of the complex tool, the geometry errors likewise
overcut and undercut due the tool strength can be experienced too. Therefore the careful
selection of the milling tool for the machining and several solutions for the overcut and
undercut problem have been observed by many researchers.
In fact, the overcut is the over-identification of tool in the surface. (Harik, Gong, & Bernard,
2013) To make it clearer, some materials which should not be removed have been taken out
while cutting by the tool. On the contrary, the term undercut stand for the excessive material
which have not been removed and have to remove again. The illustration of undercut and
overcut is shown in figure 2.10.

Figure 2.10 Undercut and overcut (Harik et al., 2013)

Figure 2.11 Tool movement and cutter location (Bohez et al., 1997)
9

Due to the linearization of the tool movement, the generation of curved real tool path being
out of tolerance creating the over and undercut is resulted when the real translation of tool
path is deviated from the actual tool end path. (Figure 2.11)
In 1997, Bohez suggested the smaller diameter of the cutter or the reduction of the angle
between the surface normal and isoperimetric line. Under this study, the isoperimetric line
is considered to be on a blade surface to be machine where the surface normal of each point
is not parallel forming the twisted ruled surface. (Figure 2.12). It can be seen that the
undercut occur because the tool cannot touch exactly to the twisted line AB since the tool
axis is straight.

Figure 2.12 Tool orientation and undercut (Bohez et al., 1997)


In this case, the maximum undercut is determined by R(1-cos ) created by the tool tangent
at point B and the tool axis is parallel to the point AB where R is the radius of the tool.
(Figure 2.13) Therefore, it is observed further that changing the orientation of the tool can
reduce the maximum undercut into R(1-cos /2) however which in turn can create the small
overcut. To be more precise, in this method, the tool axis is located in parallel to the drive
surface while the tool is tangent to the ruled surface at point P on the respective isoperimetric
line. (Figure 2.14)

Figure 2.13 Tool cross-section (Bohez et al., 1997)

10

Figure 2.14 Reduction of undercut (Bohez et al., 1997)


Concerning the avoidance of the collision, the right selection of the tool depending of the
tool geometry and the best combination of tool motion have to be applied. In addition, it is
noted that the machine motion have to be within the limit of the machine that it can travel
and the maximum movement limit of the axes in relation to one another. Acceleration must
be control to prevent backlash when an axis moves too fast due to the fact that linear motion
is always faster and more accurate than rotary motion. Moreover care must be taken while
machining since the cutting on the concave side have less tension on the runner rather than
cutting from the convex side.
2.3 e-Design process
The application of concurrent manufacturing method which is introduced by US department
of defense (DoD) in 1989 is found to be the best solution for the optimization process. Under
this method, the design phase and Manufacturing phase are working in parallel so that it
reduce the cost and time during the whole design and manufacturing process effectively.
(Siti Mahfuzah Mohamad, Ahmad Razlan Yusoff, 2013)
To be added, based on the concurrent engineering, the integration of the e-design and virtual
manufacturing was conducted for the development of the rotorcraft design. (Vu, N. A., Lin,
T., Azamatov, A., Lwin, T., & Lee, J. W., 2011)The concept is absolutely robust and efficient
that it fill the gap between theoretical design and practical aspects.
As regards the optimization of the Turgo turbine production, it begins with parametric onedimensional calculation then proceeding to the design phase, the post-processing process,
the virtual manufacturing and the production of prototype model with optimized tool path.
The blades are designed based on calculation, the tool path is generated with ruled surface
using swarf milling, and finally machining with flank milling. Several factors are considered
from the design to the manufacturing since it is designated to optimization. For example, to
cut the runner blade, it would be better to cut from the concave side first rather than cutting
from the convex side so that the force to the convex surface was reduced and it solve the risk
of breaking of the blade due to tool vibration. (Bohez, E., 1997)
Using concurrent concept as a fundamental, the design phase, the tool path generation phase
and the post-processing and verification phase are linked together. If there found to be global
or local collision with the machine or the tool defect, the problem of the undercut and
11

overcut, the long production time and any other possible error in the process, steps can be
taken back to rewind the process up to the first design phase which will bring the prompt
effect to the virtual manufacturing step. Thanks to this, the whole process can be run together
continuously saving time and since the optimization can be done without the waste of time,
it also save the money to be spent.

12

CHAPTER 3
APPROACH TO THE OPTIMIZATION PROCESS
3.1

Work flow of the whole optimization process

As aforementioned the objective behind carrying out this study is to optimize the tool path
to manufacture the runner of the turgo turbine. This chapter will present the approach to
achieve this objective.
The following figure (3.1) mentions methodology that will be implemented.

Figure 3.1 Methodology of tool path optimization of Turgo turbine runner


As showed in the Figure 3.1, the first step is to conduct the one dimensional calculation
required for the modelling of the Turgo runner. In this regards, the Microsoft Excel software
is utilized for the calculations using the formulae that has mentioned in section 2.1.1 of
Chapter 2. The turbine model is then created with Solidworks software based on the resulted
parameter from the calculation. After that, it is retrieved into MasterCam software as an
IGES model with NERB surface to be able to generate which is further be optimized for the
tool motion. The NCI (Numerical Control Intermediate) output file of MasterCam software
is converted into the delimited text file format to be post-processed with the utilization of
Mathematica software. Inverse Kinematic concept using the real machine offset is adapted
during the post-processing process. The output NC (Numerical Control) file of Mathematica
which include G-code is imported into the Vericut software where the tool path optimization
can be conducted with the utilization of virtual 5-axis machine with the exact specification
of the Hass 5-axis that the prototype of the turbine will be machining. Finally, the prototype
is manufactured using the HAAS VF-2TR 5-axis milling machine with shorter cutting time
with shortest toolpath and with no collision and less scallop.
13

3.2

Application of e-Design

Figure 3.2 Flow chart for the optimization process

14

In the endeavor to achieve the effective time management, the E-design or concurrent
engineering concept is applied to implement the optimization process as shown in Fig 3.2.
With this concept, after the parametric modelling using one-dimensional calculation is
finished, all the steps from the design of the turbine to the verification of the optimized tool
path have been conducted in parallel.
At first, as explained in the section 3.1, based on the data that is resulted from the parametric
calculation, the modelling of the Turgo turbine is done with Solidworks. In addition, the
reference model is created using the Solidworks software to be utilized in comparing the
blade model in the verification step. Moreover the fixture to clamp the work piece with the
working table of the 5-axis machine is also designed with that software. After that, the tool
path generation is implemented using MasterCam software using the IGES file version of
the turbine model with NURB surface. In this stage, the design is checked if there is any
global or local collision while cutting the blade using the specific milling tool. If the collision
occurred, the blade is redesigned. One revision of the turbine model is done at that check
point. As a matter of fact, a plenty of revision is done in this stage until the optimal tool path
is achieved. The optimization of tool have also conducted in the tool path generation process.
The tool path from MasterCam is then exported as the NCI file format which is required to
convert into delimited text format with the cutter location data for X,Y, Z and the unit vector
i, j, k under code 11 so that it can further be post-processed using Mathematica software. In
the post-processing process, the cutter location file is retrieved into the NC (Numerical
Control) file including G-code by means of Inverse Kinematic. The G-code comprises of the
axial translation of X, Y and Z coordinate and A, B rotation of the 5-axis machine. It is then
used as the input to Vericut software in order to simulate the tool path verification process
with the usage of the virtual 5-axis machine which occupied the exactly the same geometry
as HAAS VF-2TR 5-axis milling machine that is used of the manufacturing of the prototype
of the turbine with optimal tool path using that G-code. Therefore, the NC file from the postprocessor is checked in this verification stage and if it is not optimized, the whole process is
looped into either the tool path generation stage or even the modelling stage. Finally only
when the tool path is verified to be optimized though Vericut, the prototyping of the whole
turgo runner will be cut with the 5-axis machine. The 5-axis that is used for machining is
Hass VF-2TR 5-axis milling machine from National Institute of Metrology (NIMT).

15

CHAPTER 4
OPTIMIZATION PROCESS
4.1

Parametric modelling: One-dimensional calculation for the turbine design

The parametric modelling is calculated using the one-dimensional formulae base on the
literature review of the previous researcher. For this, the fundamental parameter to be known
are net head (H), nominal flow rate (QK), the efficiency of the nozzle () and the speed of
the runner (n). In this case, since the emphasis of the study is to optimize the tool path, only
small turbine is created using net head of 50 m with runner speed 1500 rpm and nominal
flow rate of 0.03 cubic meter per second to provide 0.97 nozzle efficiency.
The turbine is designed based on the important dimension: the jet diameter (d), the runner
diameter (Ds), the inlet width (b1), the runner width (B).

Figure 4.1 Cross-section of Turgo runner (Anagnostopoulos & Papantonis, 2008)


At first the mean velocity of the jet (c) is computed to get the jet diameter (d) which is
based on that value.

Then the runner diameter is determined based on the inlet velocity which is approximate
half-time smaller than jet velocity.

In fact, the runner diameter stand for the diameter of the average arc to design the turbine
blade. Therefore the diameter of the hub arc can be determined with the subtraction of jet

16

diameter from the runner diameter whereas that of tip arc with the addition of diameter of
the jet to runner diameter as follows.

Moreover the calculation for both inlet width (b1) and runner width (B) can also be
determined based on the runner diameter.

Then to find the dimensions of the three arcs: the hub, the average and the tip which will be
surfaced to get the ruled surface that can be machined later, the inlet angle 1 and outlet
angle 2 . In addition, The curve of the runner is circle since its derivative is linear function
and we want linear variation of the tangent. So it is alos required to determine the radius of
the circles(R) and the center points of each circle in X and Z coordinates.

Figure 4.2 The inlet angle, outlet angle, and the velocity diagram
(Anagnostopoulos & Papantonis, 2008)
For average arc,

17

Then for determination of the radius of the arc and the center of the arc,

Simliarly
For tip arc which will be the furthest arc with the largest diameter which in turn will
determine the diameter for the blank park to be cut,

18

Finally fo the hub arc,

However although it is important to find the dimensions which matter the most to determine
the blade geometry and mechanical design, to know the efficiency of the turbine and the
power that can be generated by the turbine is still an interesting factors.
In this respect, the efficieny is determind by ratio of the intial velociy of the blade and the
final velocity of the blade.
Initial velocity of the blade = c = v1 = 30.37 m/sec
Final velocity of the blade = v2 = w2 sin 2a = 16.68 * sin 79.58 = 16.4 m/sec
Efficiency =

The power generated by the turbine will be determined as the multiplication of specific
weight of the liquid , the head H and the flow rate Q .

In this regard, to make the calculation more convinient and ediable, all one-diemensional
calculation are developed in Microsoft Excel. (Figure 4.3)

19

Figure 4.3 One-dimensional calculation in Excel

20

4.2

CAD/ CAM Iteration (1)

With the usage of the parameter that is obtained from the one-dimensional calculation, the
turbine model is designed in Solidworks. The critical dimensions for modeling turbine are
shown in Table 4.1. As mentioned in section 3.2, owing to the iteration steps to attain the
optimal tool path, several revision models are redesigned in this stage. Therefore the first
iteration process is carried out to check the tool collision in the tool path generation.
Table 4.1 Important parameters for CAD modelling

4.2.1 Mechanical design


The first revision model of Turgo turbine is created step by step as follows. In order to create
the concave surface, three arcs are the drawn on the three planes: Hub, Average and Tip
which are created from three circles with diameters 146.3 mm, 181.8 mm and 217.3 mm
respectively from center points 31.1 mm (Z axis) and 24.9 mm (X axis) for Hub arc, 31.1
mm (Z axis) and 24.9 mm (X axis) for Average arc and 48.4 mm (Z axis) and 59.4 mm (X
axis) for Tip Arc. (Figure 4.4 a) Then, by connecting these three arcs using the boundary
surface feature, the concave surface was created. (Figure 4.4 b) After that, the convex surface
is create by thickening the boundary surface with 4mm thickness. (Figure 4.4 c) For the
smooth flow of water from the inlet, the blade was fillet to some extent. (Figure 4.4 d) Three
blade model is finally made using the curve driven feature to be observed in the MasterCam
software for tool path generation and also to check the collision possibility. (Figure 4.4 e)

21

(a) Creating the hub, average and tip arcs in three planes respectively

(b) Creating boundary surface by connecting three arcs

22

(c) Creating blade by thickening the resulted surface

(d) Making three blades to get the check surface for simulation
Figure 4.4 Design process of Turgo turbine

23

4.2.2 Toolpath generation


After the modelling is done in Solidworks, the model file is saved in the IGES format since
the flank milling will be conducted on the NURB surfaces and trimmed surfaces of the
turbine with the utilization of MasterCam software. The selection of the cutting tool relies
on the minimum distance between the blades since the maximum diameter of the cutter must
be less than that distance and the cutter needs to avoid the occurrence of collision to other
blades. Therefore the observation of the distance between blades is done as shown in Table
4.2.
Table 4.2 Inter-distance between blades
Bottom Distance

Middle Distance

Top Distance

Hub Arc

17.82

17.85

17.88

Average Arc

23.67

23.21

22.96

Tip Arc

29.25

28.98

28.48

In this respect, while the tool is select from the available tooling from the market, care must
be taken to check the flute length of the tool. As a matter of fact, the cutting height rely on
the flute length. It is a necessity for the cutter to have the flute length is long enough to cut
the designed surface of the blade. Owing these critical factors, the 6 mm bull-end milling
tool with flute length 50 mm (Figure 4.5 a) and corner radius 1mm and 10 mm tool with flute
length 50 mm and corner radius 1 mm (Figure 4.5 b) are chosen as the minimum and
maximum tool for the machining.

(a)

24

(b)
Figure 4.5 Tool selection (a) 6 mm bull-end tool and (b) 10 mm bull-end tool
In these collision check test, the 6 mm bull end tool is used for cutting the blade in the tool
path generation process. The problem that was first encountered is that both concave and
convex sides cannot be cut simultaneously since they are isolated surfaces created by
thickening. At worst, the collision happened while cutting the convex side although the
generation of tool path in the concave side and the fillet have no interference. Therefore, the
tool path can be generated only in concave surface. The step-by-step simulation process is
shown in figure 4.6.

(a) Turgo Runner Revision model (1) (green) which is imported as IGES files with
NERB surface together with the blank part (pink)
25

(b) The cutting on the concave surface

(c) The cutting on the convex surface (Fail)


Figure 4.6 Tool path generation using the Turgo turbine
4.3

CAD/ CAM Iteration (2)

Owing to this, the final revision model is designed using the same parameters from the
calculation but designed with the usage of the different method and then simulated in the
MasterCam to be further processed in post-processor and verified the generated tool path.

26

4.3.1 Redesigned process


In this model, the surface was not thickened. Instead the six arcs were sketched with 4mm
distance in circular position (Figure 4.7 a), the whole surface including both convex and
concave surfaces was lofted to be one continuous surface. (Figure 4.7 b) Finally, the Turgo
runner with three blades is created with the curve pattern feature. (Figure 4.7 c)

(a) Creating 6 arcs to get the close loop path for surface lofting

(b) Creating the single surface blade model with surface loft feature

27

(c) Making three blades model for machining


Figure 4.7 Design process of Turgo turbine revision model
4.3.2 Toolpath regeneration
The second revised turbine model is then imported with IGES file format including NERB
surfaces for flank milling in MasterCam. Since the model is now the single surface one, the
tool can then be cut the whole surface simultaneously using one tool path. (Figure 4.8)

(a) Turgo Runner Revision Model

28

(b) The continuous cutting on both concave and convex sides of the runner
Figure 4.8 Tool path generation for Turgo turbine revision model
Furthermore, under the observation for the collision of the tool, the whole turbine with 20
blades was cut. The cutting was done successfully without any collision in MasterCam
simulation as described in the figure. (Figure 4.9 a) However, more step is needed to be done
to clear the extra material and the scallop which is still needed to be cleared was found after
the cutting. (Figure 4.9 b)

29

Figure 4.9 Tool path generation for 20 blades


4.3.3 Post-processing
The output file of MasterCam software is NCI (Numerical Control Intermediate) file type
which represent the non-ISO standard cutter location file that include un-necessary
information besides the motions of the tool with code 11. In this regards, the post-processer
needs only text file that is including the location of the cutter in the X, Y and Z coordinates
and the unit vector of that vector i, j and k coordinates. Therefore, the exported NCI files is
converted into the text file that includes only necessary information using Microsoft Excel
software.
In fact, the necessity of post-processing step happens because the cutter location data that is
attained from MasterCam represent only the tool motions and the real-time machining
requires G-code which refer to both movements of the machine and the tool in X, Y and Z
direction, including the rotation of the working table with the rotation angles A (tilt axis)
rotated around the X axis and B (rotation axis) rotated around the Z axis while cutting the
runner blade. The step-by-step formatting of NCI file into CL file is listed in Figure 4.10.

30

Step 1: save NCI files including CL data (MasterCam Output)

31

Step 2: Striping of un-necessary information (Excel) and saving only X,Y,Z and unit vector
i, j, k under code 11

32

Step 3: Importing cutter location file to Postprocessor (Mathematica)


Figure 4.10 Step-by-step formatting of CL file
After retrieving the CL data with code 11 via Excel, the next step is to process it using the
specific post-processor. In this case, Mathematica software was utilized with the application
of the Inverse Kinematics. Under that concept, the work piece coordinate system is translated
into the machine coordinate system. For this necessity, four coordinate systems: O1, O2 , O3
and O4 are assigned to the machine whereas the origin 1 (O1) refer to work piece origin, the
origin 2 (O2) for the trunnion table coordinate system on A table centerline and on centerline
of B rotation, the origin 3 (O3) for B table coordinate system on A table centerline but 0.003
mm further in the machine and the origin 4 (O4) for the machine coordinate system on the
same location as o2. (Figure 4.12)

33

Figure 4.11 Haas 5-axis machine and the coordinate systems


As a result, the inverse kinematics starts off at the work piece side where the coordinate
system O1 is transformed to O2 on the A-table. However the work piece is placed over the
customized fixture which is 75 mm height. (Figure 4.11) And the origin 2 (O2) is 3.307 mm
over the B table surface. Since origin of work piece is right at the center of the bottom
surface, the translation Zo1o2 became (75-3.307 = 71.693 mm). Then the first translation
happens as follows.
x2w = x1 + xo1o2;
xo1o2 = 0;
y2w = y1 + yo1o2;
yo1o2 = 0;
z2w = z1 + zo1o2;
zo1o2 = 71.693;
Next the B-table will be rotated at an infinitesimal angle , which can be viewed from the
XY plane as depicted in Figure 4.13. The z coordinate will still be the same since it did not
change. The equations for a positive 3D rotation along the axis Z axis are expressed as
follows.
x2wb = x2w Cos[B] + y2w Sin[B];
y2wb = y2w Cos[B] - z2w Sin[B];
z2wb= z2w

Figure 4.12 Positive B rotation along Z-axis

34

Then transform coordinate system O2 to O3, the offset value is only valid along the vertical
Y-axis as denoted in the following equations for a 3D translation. In this respect, it is noted
as the origin 2 is at the A table centerline but -0.003 mm further from the machine center in
the Y-axis.
x3w = x2wb + xo2o3;
xo2o3 = 0;
y3w = y2wb + yo2o3;
yo2o3 = -0.003;
z3w = z2wb + zo2o3;
zo2o3 =0;
At O3 coordinate system, the A table will be rotated along the X-axis in YZ plane. A-table
will be rotated at an infinitesimal angle , which can be viewed from the XZ plane as depicted
in Figure 4.14. The equations for a positive 3D rotation along the axis X are expressed as
follows.
x3wa = x3w;
y3wa = x3 Cos [A] + z3 Sin [A];
z3bwa= z3 Cos [A] - x3 Sin [A];

Figure 4.13 Positive A rotation along X-axis

The final coordinate transform from O3 to O4 by translation will finally orient the tool and
the work piece in accordance to the designated tool vector. The offset values for this
transform between O3 and O4 is horizontal distance between this two points (ZO3O4) and
the tool offsets is z4T. In addition, the machine slide motions from the handshake (delX,
delY and delZ) have also been taken into account while doing the final transformation.
x4w = x3wa + xo3o4 + delX;
y4w = y3wa + yo3o4 + delY;
z 4w= z3wa + zo3o4;

xo3o4 = 0;
yo3o4 = 0;
zo3o4 = 0;

The tooltip coordinates can be calculated as follows. The tool tip coordinate in Z coordinate
system (z4T) depends on the tool length value. It is the distance from the machine origin to
the Z0 position of the tool tip. Therefore for the 6mm ball nose tool with length 139.465 mm,
the z4T becomes (271.48-3.307-139.46 = 128.708 mm).
x4t = 0;
y4t = 0;
z4t = z4T+ delZ;

z4T = 128.708;

35

To find the handshake motions, it depends on the workpiece coordinates around A axis and
the translation from O3 to O4 as follows.
delX = -x3wa - xo3o4;
delY = -y3wa - yo3o4;
delZ = z3wa + zo3o4 - z4T;
As regards the rotation angles A and B, they can be determined from the unit vector i, j, k
unit vector of CL points and there are four possible solutions for both A and B.
B1 = -ArcTan[i1/j1];
B2 = 2 Pi + B1;
B3 = Pi + B1;
B4 = -Pi + B1;
A angles for solutions B1 & B2:
A1 = -ArcCos[k1];
A2 = -2 Pi + A1;
A angles for solutions B3 & B4
A3 = +ArcCos[k1];
A4 = 2 Pi + A3;
Based on these parameters, the program is implemented to find the best combination of A
rotation angle and B rotation angle. A plenty of experiments is conducted in this postprocessing phase working back and forth between the post-processing phase and verification
phase thanks to the fact that although the G-code file was seemed to be good, it probably
will not be working well while tool path was verified in Vericut. Finally two best solutions
with different combination of rotation angles was achieved. First combination is the
machining keep going with B4 angle and if the angle is larger than 90 percent of Pi, the B
rotation will switch to B1 angle. With this B4 and B1 combination, the best A rotation angle
is A1. The other solution is the rotation with B1 angle comes first until the rotation angle
became lager than 90 percent of Pi. Then it change to B3 angle. The coordination A angle in
this case is A3 rotational angle. After post processing, the resulted NC file representing Gcodes is imported to Vericut for the verification of that fact that these G-codes are optimized
using the virtual 5-axis machine.
4.3.4 Verification of tool path for Turgo turbine revision
In the verification, the X, Y, Z coordinates and the rotation angles A, B inside G-codes are
proved with the virtual machine to make sure that there is no collision with the machine and
to check the undercut and overcut. The virtual machine is built following the exact dimension
and travel limits of HAAS VF-2TR 5-axis machine, the real-time machine used for
manufacturing turbine. As for reference, the travel limits of machine are 762 mm, 406 mm
and 508 mm in X, Y and Z axis respectively and the rotation limits of the angles A and B
are +/- 120 degree and 360 degree each. In addition, during the simulation in the Vericut
software, the tooling offset must be the same as the zTo4 parameter (128.708 mm for 6mm
bull-end nose tool) mentioned in the post-processor. Also the tool and the holder are also
created with the same dimensions as the tooling from MasterCam software with the same
tool name as utilized in real-time HAAS machine. (Figure 4.14)
36

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Figure 4.14 Machine setting (a) Travel limits and (b) Tooling offset
(c) 6mm milling tool parameter (d) 10mm milling tool parameter
What is more the blank is created inside the machine based on the largest tip diameter of the
turbine (217.3 mm) and the height (51.4 mm). (Figure 4.15 a)Through check on the clearance
between the blank part and the cutting path of the tool, the geometry of the fixtures to clamp
the work piece to the working table is determined as described in the Figure 4.15 b.

37

(a)

(b)
Figure 4.15 (a) Blank part and (b) the fixture
The verification of these two possible solutions are decipted in Figure 4.16 and Figure 4.17.
Out of these two best combinations, the combination of rotation angle B1, B3 and A3 angle
was selected to be processed with the following optimization process. The reason is that
though the application of B4, B1 and A1 angles also brings the same results, it cannot be
observed in the real-time machine (HAAS 5-axis machine) since the angle A1 angle turns
the working table from the eyesight of the observer.

38

Figure 4.16 Toolpath verification for combination of B1B3A3 rotation angle


translation
39

Figure 4.17 Toolpath verification for combination of B4B1A1 rotation angle


translation

40

4.4

CAD/ CAM Iteration (3)

In the previous CAD/CAMA iteration (2), it have been proved that the toolpath generated to
cut the blade can be simulated without any collision in verification step. Therefore the next
step is to find the optimized toolpath for cutting the whole runner including the blades and
the materials between blades. Towards this end, a plenty of experiments have been conducted
to find the best way which will lead to the optimization. Out of this experiments, in this
section, some experiments that matter the most will be discussed.
4.4.1 Design and experiments
As for the modelling of the turbine, the blade is created following the design concept in the
revision model which is confirmed already that it can be machined without collision.
However, in order to clear the extra material, the blade needs to be redesigned to create extra
concave and convex surfaces to be milled.
The first experiment is the rotation of tool path in the MasterCam using the pre-defined
toolpth for cutting the blades. Then it had become the failure since even the rotation of 19.5
degree lead to the breaking of blades in some cuts although the initial cutting is working
well. (Figure 4.18)

Initial cut (20 blades)

Rotated toolpath

Figure 4.18 Rotation of tool path in 19.5 degree


Thanks to this, in this CAD/CAM iteration (3), all the experiments were conducted with the
usage of the redesigned runner model. The modelling of the blade follows the same design
method as one used for making the revision model in iteration (2). Then the extra concave
and convex surfaces are created. Then, in order to utilize the several layers of these surfaces
as the reference surface to generate the toolpath in MasterCam, they are copied with 1.5
degree angle distance by using the circular pattern feature in Solidworks. (Figure 19)

41

Making extra concave and convex surfaces for the reference surface for tool path
generation

Copying concave surfaces with 1.5 degree

Figure 4.19 Design process of creating the blade with concave and convex surfaces

42

Then the tool path is generated in MasterCam with the IGES file of the turbine model with
ruled surface to achieve the cutter location data which is then converted into NC file
including G-codes that is the imported into Vericut software for verification. In the
verification phase, the tool path is rotated to check the tool collision with both machine and
work piece. The 6 mm bull-end milling tool is used for all cutting to get the good surface
finish.
The first experiment is implemented on the design model with one blade and 7 concave
surfaces. The concave surface offset is used since the cutting on the concave surface bring
less force of the tool. When the tool path is implemented for verification in Vericut, although
the first blade cutting has no collision with the machine and the blank part, the rotation of
tool path with 18 degree to cut the new blade and the extras, the tool path is failed since tool
cut into the first blade. (Figure 4.20)

Figure 4.20 Tool path verification for blade with 7 concave layers in 1.5 degree
43

Then the concave surface is reduced to 6 surfaces with the same 1.5 degree rotation of tool
cutting. The whole implementation step from the tool path generation to the verification is
repeated. Nevertheless, the collision of tool is still happen to the first blade. (Figure 4.21)

Figure 4.21 Tool path verification for blade with 6 concave layers in 1.5 degree
Finally when the 5 concave surfaces with the 1.5 degree is applied, the collision is found to
be avoided. (Figure 4.22)

44

Figure 4.22 Tool path verification for blade with 5 concave layers in 1.5 degree
4.5

CAD/ CAM Iteration (4)

Along with the CAD/CAM iteration (4), the runner model with the reference concave
surfaces which is already confirmed for no collision towards the adjacent blades is utilized
for all the observations conducted using HAAS 5-axis machine to achieve the optimized tool
path with minimum production time with minimal toolpath. In this respect, the minimum
tool (6 mm bull-end milling tool) and the maximum tool (10 mm bull-end milling tool) are
used alternatively.
In this process, the tool path with different roughing steps and the finish tool path are
implemented in MasterCam first. Since the length of blade is 35.5, the depth of cut is
determined by the equal-distance distribution of that length by the number of roughing cut.
45

The different machine sequences are conducted in this iteration. In this step, the machine
offset is certified with the correct offset with the HAAS machine at the very first moment.
With the application of e-Design, the toolpath generation, post-processing, verification and
the machining is implemented in parallel during the experiments.
4.5.1 5-Axis machining
The HAAS VF 2TR 5-Axis machine from the National Institute of Metrology Thailand is
utilized to cut the blades for the Turgo turbine with flank milling process. In the figure 4.23,
the machine itself and the assembly of the blank part and the fixture to the machine is
presented.

(a)

(b)
Figure 4.23 (a) HAAS machine
(b) The assembly of blank part and fixture on the machine
46

In addition, during the machining process, the post-processor is optimized to attain the
minimum tool travel. With the previous post-processor, when the spindle is activated, the
tool tip have to go to the zero origin of the machine in the initial stage. Also since the
customized fixture is 75 mm high and the clamp with 10 mm high is placed over the blank
part with 51.4 mm, the tool needs to be raised to the safest high until the cutting is started.
Then the post-processor is modified to meet these requirements which in turn not only avoid
collision but also reduce the tool motion. The previous post processor and the modified post
processor are shown in Figure 4.24.

(a) The previous post-processor

(b) The modified post-processor


Figure 4.24 Modification of post-processor
The first direct cutting the whole runner without using any roughing step is executed with
the usage of 6 mm bull-end tool. Meanwhile, that minimum tool experienced with the
instability and vibration effect. (Figure 4.25)

Figure 4.25 Vibration effect


47

Therefore, in the next text, to reduce the flank force to the tool, 4 roughing cut with 8.75 mm
in each step and 0.5 mm finishing for the extra material and the blade is performed. The
cutting is then stable and provide the good surface finish as well. (Figure 4.26)

Figure 4.26 Combination of 4 roughing cuts and 1 finishing cut


48

4.5.2 Comparison of machining time, scallop, undercut and overcut


However since 4 roughing is performed, the cutting consumed a lot of time over 7 hours and
the usage of small tool leads to the risk of the tool wear when it comes to mass production.
Owing to this, some more experiments using 10 mm diameter tool (the maximum tool) for
the roughing for the extra material clearance first then 6 mm diameter cutter for the finishing
with different set up of the number of roughing cuts with the respective depth of cuts. As the
comparison results can be observed from the table 4.3, the changing of the tools brought
more time because of two switching time.
Table 4.3 Comparison table of manufacturing time
Machining Sequence
IGES
model

Roughing between
blades
No
of
cuts

Depth
of cut
(mm)

35.5

8.75

17.5

17.5

17.5

17.5

Tool
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
10 mm
cutter
10 mm
cutter

Roughing and finishing blade


No
of
cuts

Depth of cut
(mm)

35.5

8.75 (roughing)
1 (finishing)
8.75 (roughing)
1 (finishing)
11.5 (roughing)
0.05 (finishing)
17.5 (roughing)
0.05 (finishing)
11.5 (roughing)
1 (finishing)

4
3
2
3

Tool
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
6 mm
cutter
10 mm
cutter
10 mm
cutter

Machining
Time
Air
Total cutting cutting
time (hours) time (%)
-

7.57 hours

64

6.25 hours

59

5.5 hours

58

4.17 hours

55

4.75 hours

57

In this case, it is noted that the number of the roughing cuts have an effect on the increment
of the manufacturing time, the tool flank and the surface finish. In the cutting of second
blades, 10 mm diameter is cutter is used for the 2 roughing cuts with 17.5 mm depth and the
finishing of the blade is performed with 6 mm diameter tool with 4 roughing cuts with 8.75
mm depth of cuts and 0.5 mm depth of cut for 1 finishing cut. Then the estimated
manufacturing time is reduced to 6 hours and 15 minutes. The scallop still happen at the
bottom with 1.2 mm height. Then as for the experiments, the roughing cutting is kept the
same but for the finishing, the cutting step is reduced to 3 roughing cuts with 11.5 mm depth
and 1 finishing cut with 1 mm depth of cut. Then the estimated time is reduced to 5 hours
and 30 minutes. But the scallop is still the same. So in the next cutting, the blade is machined
with 2 roughing cuts with 17.5 mm depth of cut and 0.5 mm depth of cut for the finishing.
Then the manufacturing time is comparatively reduced to 4 hours and 10 minutes but the
surface finish is obviously severe due to two roughing step. Then in the final optimized
cutting, the same 10 mm cutters is applied for all the roughing and finishing steps. Since the
tool is big enough, the extra material clearance is performed with 2 roughing cuts and the

49

final cutting for the blade is executed with 3 roughing steps with 17.5 mm depth of cut and
1 mm finishing cut for achieving the good surface finish. (Figure 4.27)

Blade 2

Blade 1

50

Blade 3

Blade 4

Figure 4.27 Demonstration of scallop and surface finish of different setup


Since the ruled surface milling is used for the machining, as afore-mentioned in section 2.2.2,
the overcut and undercut occurred while processing the toolpath. The tool axis, which is not
parallel to the twisted surface of the blade although it has to be, lead to that geometry errors
on the surface. The bigger tool brings about bigger overcut. Therefore with the usage of 6
mm cutter, the maximum overcut is 0.5 mm while the 10 mm cutter is applied, it became
0.8 mm as the maximum overcut. (Figure 4.28)

(a)
(b)
Figure 4.28 Demonstration of overcut (a) 0.5 mm overcut on convex surface (6 mm
cutter) (b) 0.8 mm overcut on convex surface (10 mm cutter)
51

Furthermore, it have been acknowledged that the initial cutting rail starting from the convex
surface bring too much vibration and the force is inserted to the blade a lot. Due to this, for
all the blade cutting in different machining setup, the initial cutting starts from the concave
surface. As for the cutting speed, care must be taken not to make any breaking to the blades
because the wood dressing is used as a raw material for blank part. In this respect, the
initialization of the program start with very high speed: 1000 rpm meanwhile the spindle
start and the working table start. However the feed rate differ depending on the tool usage.
For 6 mm tool, 200 rpm is used whereas 300 rpm is applied for the 10 mm tool.
Nevertheless, during the cutting into blank part, as soon as the tool cut into it, the federate is
adjusted to 50 percent of original amount to reduce the tooling temperature.
4.5.3 Optimized setup
By means of the observations through different set-up, the one that bring the optimal tool
path is the execution of the cutting using the same tool (10 mm bull-end milling tool). The
machining step include the 2 roughing cuts for the clearance of the extra material and the
combination of 3 roughing cuts and 1 finishing cut for the blade which lead to the total
cutting time 4 hours and 45 minutes with good surface finishing on the blade surface. The
machining time is minimum and the toolpath is optimized with the shortest toolpath,
following the practical constraints such the interference of the tool, the tool temperature and
tool wear. The initial modelling for this optimized solution and the record of the machining
are demonstrated in Figure 4.29 and Figure 4.30.

Figure 4.29 Design process of the optimized model


52

Figure 4.30 Demonstration of machining process

53

CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1

Conclusion

Under this study, the overall dimension of a Turgo turbine runner is 51.4 mm height, 4 mm
thickness and 35.5 mm length. The runner had been optimized using the flank milling along
with the use the vertical 5-axis machine. The trial-machining is executed with the utilization
of 10 mm bull-end milling tool with corner radius 1 mm. The selection of cutter based on
the distance between and also practical constraint such as the availability of tool in the market
with the sufficient flute length for cutting. It is also based on the fact that the shorter tool
provide more stiffness of the tool improving the tool life.
As regards the 5-axis machining of Turgo runner, it is manufactured by use of HAAS VF
2TR 5-axis machine. The CAD modelling is performed in Solidworks 2014 to get the IGES
model to be imported into Mastercam X5 for toolpaths generation. The toolpath generation
in Mastercam can be divided into two main parts: Roughing between blades and Finishing
the blade. The removal of extra material is done by rotating the roughing cuts and then with
finishing cuts, the removal of the material around the blade is carried out. The CL data from
this toolpaths was post-processed in the Mathematica7 to attain the NC file with the
utilization of the inverse kinematic with the exact offset of the HAAS machine. After that,
the completed NC files including G-code data is verified in the Vericut 7.3 for confirmation
of the machining process.
As regards the optimization of the runner, the machining time of the runner especially
optimized. It took 45 minutes for the roughing of the material between the blades and to
complete the blades and the extra materials which is about 3 mm around the blade, the
combination of the 3 roughing cuts and 1 finishing cut required 4 hours. Therefore the total
machining time for the whole runner is 4 hours and 45 minutes. There is a scallop in the
bottom surface of the blade which is 1.3 mm height as a result of maximum cutter (10 mm
diameter tool) usage. However, it does not affect to the flow mechanism of the runner. Also
there is some overcut in the middle the blade surface with maximum height 0.8 mm.
In addition, during the optimization process, the consideration of practical constraints such
tool wear, tool life and the interference of tool are taken into account. The post-processing
program is modified to achieve the minimal tool travel. The federate of the tool is 300 rpm
and is reduced to 50 percent while cutting the blank part in this case. Although there are two
possible combination of rotation angle to cut the runner, only the combination of angle B1,
B3 and A3 is used since the machining can be seen and checked during practical machining
period. With the other combination of B1, B4 and A4 angles, the observation cannot be done
because the working table faced to the back side of the machine.
To sum up, with the proposed optimization process, the manufacturing time, the surface
finish of the blade and the tooling aspect are optimized. However further implementation for
the clearance of the scallop at the bottom is still needed to be implemented which will be
discussed in the following recommendation setting.

54

5.2

Recommendation

A CAD model of the runner needs to be exported as the IGES file format with NURB
surface from Solidworks CAD software for toolpath generation in Mastercam.

The roughing of the materials between can be done for all 20 blades in single NC
program. However the finishing on the blade should be perform on one blade after
another since the rotation of the toolpath using the G-code file resulted from the postprocessing of CL data lead to the collision of the tool in the verification step.

Blade profile is created with ruled surface over the curves. Therefore due to the tool
motion which cannot match exactly with the requirements to be parallel with the
twisted drive surface, the overcut which is about 0.2 mm in the top of the blade and
the scallop with 1.3 mm height is experienced at the hub surface. Therefore, it is
suggested to fix this problem by two alternative methods: the modification of the CL
vector where the tool is oriented to form the scallop and reduction of the diameter of
the cutter. However care must be taken when CL vector is modified to make sure that
there is no collision of the tool to the part and jigs.

In addition, it would be advantageous to study the flow simulation of the resulted


blade model to find out to what extent the deviations on the runner have an effect on
the efficiency of the blade. If the study can prove that there is a little bit difference in
efficiency, the proposed modelling can be brought off to the manufacturing because
it is the fastest and cost saving.

Moreover, the metrological analysis of the runner to observe the possible geometrical
errors between the designed model and the machined prototype would be an
interesting study to be conducted. It is suggested as the further study for the proposed
optimization process.

55

REFERENCES
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13. Williamson, S. J., Stark, B. H., & Booker, J. D. (2013). Performance of a low-head picohydro Turgo turbine. Applied Energy, 102, 1114-1126. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.
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14. Beckman,
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(2012).
5
Advantages
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Machining.
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http://www.productionmachining.com/articles/5-advantages-of-5-axis-machining
15. Multiaxis machining. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiaxis_machining
16. Turgo turbine. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turgo_turbine

57

APPENDIXES

58

APPENDIX A: Post Processor for Extra Clearance

59

60

APPENDIX B: Post Processor for Cutting Blade

61

62

APPENDIX C: HAAS 5-Axis Machine Offset

63

APPENDIX D: Blank Part Drawing

64

APPENDIX D: Fixture Drawing

65