Nov 07, 2017
A new generation of hybrid form multi-axis machine tools is described. The hybrid machine tools comprise a position mechanism and an orientation mechanism. Both mechanisms are three-DOF parallel mechanisms that can be connected either in series to form a hybrid parallel-serial manipulator, or in parallel to form a cooperating machine. The position mechanism is used for manipulating the position and the orientation mechanism is used for manipulating the orientation of an object. Six-axes machining of a workpiece is achieved by coordinating the motions of the position and orientation mechanisms. This approach has several important advantages. First of all, a high stiffness, low inertia, and high speed machine tool is realized by using the parallel construction. Secondly, its direct and inverse kinematic solutions could be solved in closed forms which would greatly simplify the control and path planning problems. Thirdly, it has a relatively large workspace in comparison to fully parallel platform manipulators. Fourthly, its position and orientation are completely decoupled. Lastly, it utilizes mostly revolute joints which can be precisely made at low cost.