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Towards a realistic simulation of surface finish using massively parallel calculation on GPU

Machining simulation simsurf
The manufacturing of high-added-value products in multi-axis machining requires some means of advanced simulation in order to validate the manufacturing process. Whereas CAM software editors provide simulation software that allows the detection of global interferences or local gouging, some research works have shown that it is possible to consider multi-scale simulations of the surface, with a realistic description of both the tools and the machining path.
However, computing capacity remains a problem for interactive and realistic simulations in 5-axis continuous machining.

In this context, using the high capabilities offered by graphics processing units for parallel calculations makes it possible to develop a robust simulation application. At LURPA, we started experiencing the direct use of NVIDIA CUDA technology. The results were really good, it ran very fast, but this method demanded a quite complicated software programing cycle as well as important skills in C++ language.

NVIDIA then launched the Optix library software for ray tracing. Those library includes Optix Prime, a subset dedicated to rapid intersection of rays with a mesh of triangles. A little disappointing in the beginnings, in terms of operation speed, Optix Prime has become really efficient starting from version 3.9.

As a matter of fact, this version allowed the tool model's acceleration structure (a set of bouding boxes surrounding the tool model and devised to exclude void areas when processing the rays-triangles intersections) to be efficiently moved along the machining path. With Optix Prime's previous versions, a simple translation of the tool would lead to acceleration structure's recalculation.

Following our article published in the Visual Computer journal (Effective NC machining simulation with OptiX Ray Tracing Engine, M. Jachym, S. Lavernhe, C. Euzenat, C. Tournier, The Visual Computer, DOI: 10.1007/s00371-018-1497-7, 2018) we put on this page the software and some data files (tools and machining paths) mentioned for the article's benchmarks.

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