The process of designing any new machine tool consists of several stages during its prototype development. Once the cutting envelope and power requirements have been defined, the major structural components are usually designed simultaneously by several different designers, as a result of project time constraints. Because designers may sometimes have a difficult time knowing what impact their changes might have on the completed machine, they need to optimize each of their components separately. In theory, this approach should lead to a possibility of only minor component changes at the point when the complete machine is structurally analyzed. The optimization of each major component is a function of several defined sets of criteria, such as total weight and stiffness (both static and dynamic) under different types of load and boundary conditions. By establishing these criteria, the effectiveness of changes can be evaluated at different times of the machine’s development and optimization. When taking this design approach, it is safe to assume that complete machine tool structures, composed of optimized components, will not only have good static and dynamic characteristics, but also should be cost effective, as the total iron mass will be at a minimum for each component. Results of this process will be shown thru described component optimization changes of an actual new machine design from it’s concept, assembly and final testing.

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