Rapid Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Tool-path Programming
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-045
Topic Title: Rapid Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Tool-path Programming
Proposal No.: N141-045-0030
Firm: Tucker Innovations
8525 Broxburn Lane
Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173
Contact: Thomas Tucker
Phone: (704) 843-4026
Web Site: http:/www.tuckerinnovations.com
Abstract: The proposal seeks to significantly automate the process of producing parts requiring multi-axis milling of sculpted surfaces as required by the Navy for hydro-shapes such as propellers. Harnessing recent university research involving the application of graphical processing units as inexpensive super-computing, a new subtractive 3D printing process will be applied. Phase I will work with the Navy to produce G-code mill programs in a format the Navy can import into third party CAM software packages. This unbiased verification will confirm to the Navy that the technology is suitable to its needs. A subsequent phase II effort would target the actual production of real parts via these mill programs as well as expansion of the automation to include part inspection.
Benefits: The wider spread benefits of a successful SBIR effort will bring a new level of automation to traditional subtractive manufacturing processes such as multi-axis milling. Currently, expert users of computer-aided design software spend long hours to go from as designed part to the point where the milling machine is ready to cut. A "hit the print button" level of automation is envisioned. Tucker Innovations is already undertaking a commercialization effort for subtractive 3D printing technology. This solicitation by the Navy perfectly aligns with the first phase of Tucker Innovations' commercialization plans where it is seeking alpha/beta customer sites. Close collaboration with the Navy in successfully applying subtractive 3d printing to real world hydro-shape parts is highly valuable at this stage.