Freeform Manager

Freeform Manager

Introduction

Freeform Manager offers automated generation and correction of CNC-data, as well as  a feasibility analysis for freeform tubes on CNC bending machines. It builds on the years of experience of creating and refining our bending simulation Kolli, and extends the core principles to work for tubes that are bent with a continuously changing bending radius. It is the world’s first software for the calculation and simulation of such freeform bends.

Features

Isometric Drawing
Isometric Drawing
While Kolli is also capable of simulating bending processes on roller bending machines, it only considers one fixed radius per bend. Freeform Manager, on the other hand, was specifically designed to deal with bending radiuses that are varying throughout the entire bending process, enabling you to utilize the full potential of your roller bending machine. Even though the task may not sound very different, a radically new approach was needed to succeed in calculating and simulating true freeform bending. That and the additional new requirements that had to be fulfilled meant that Freeform Manager was designed as a completely new standalone software, rather than being integrated into Kolli.
Isometric Drawing

Bending Simulation

Just like its sibling program Kolli, FreeformManager simulates the bending process on one or more virtual bending machines.

It detects any potential collision between the tube and the machine or itself, and automatically alters the process in such a way that the optimal bending sequence is found, in order for the tube to be bent without any collision, provided of course that the tube actually can be bent.

Isometric Drawing
Isometric Drawing

Spline Curve Import

Construction data of a tube can be imported from a CAD system for further processing by using an interface to the IGES file format.

Manual Creation of Curve Progressions

Besides the import of curve progressions from CAD-systems, an integrated editor allows the creation and editing of a tube by using the parameterized input of tube segments.
Isometric Drawing
Isometric Drawing

Support of Combination Tools

The application can also generate CNC data for fixed radius bends, which are created using one or more bending dies. A machine with a combination tool can fabricate tubes with freeform and fixed radii in one process. The required data for the tool change from the freeform tool to the bending die are automatically generated by Freeform Manager. The required tooling for the fixed and the freeform radius is automatically recognized.

Set-Actual Comparison and Correction of CNC Data

Freeform Manager considers all important machine, material, and tool-specific parameters when generating CNC data. The software offers interfaces to measurement systems, so that their data can be compared with the set-tube. The result is displayed as a deviation report and is used for the automatic correction of the CNC-data. Generally the tube is in the tolerance range after the first correction, but the corrected bending product can be continuously corrected as many times as desired. The result will approximate the set-tube more and more with each iteration.
Isometric Drawing
Isometric Drawing

Feasibility Analysis & 3D Simulation

The fabrication process for a freeform tube can be displayed as an offline simulation of the machine’s axis movements. During the simulation Freeform Manager checks the geometry for collisions with the machine. In case of collision the software will search for alternative axis movements to manufacture the tube collision-free.