Purpose – Traditional procedures in flat pattern design of aircraft sheet metal parts are generally based on technicians' personal idea and experiences which can cause unwanted inconsistency and errors. The main objective of this paper is to present an automated system for decreasing the time and increasing the accuracy in providing templates used in aircraft sheet metal parts manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the software (Developer) which is able to receive 2D drawing of a part and create the flat pattern template after applying the necessary changes. The system is also capable of supplying other components of sheet metal part template such as support, tooling hole, and lightening hole. AutoLISP has been used as a tool for internal access to a commercial software such as AutoCAD. An interface has been written by Visual Basic for Application (VBA) to enable the user easily to apply the subroutines related to the software system. Findings – Several algorithms have been developed and the necessary subroutines have been written in an integrated user‐friendly package. To clarify the process and its application, an application example is demonstrated. Originality/value – The paper can provide automatically components that are not originally provided in other commercial software. It also has the ability to calculate spring‐back and provide unfold drawing. The known standard templates can also be created.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2008
Keywords: Sheet metal; Computer software; Design; Aerospace engineering