Motion Control Software for Square Tube Bending, Pipe Cutting


This video demonstrates motion control for cutting square or rectangular pipes using the Aerotech Automation 3200 motion platform, which allows users to easily write programs for cutting square or rectangular pipes.

Laser cutting of square or rectangular pipes presents a different challenge from cylindrical tube processing. A cylindrical tube can be treated as a single flat area in a CNC cutting program using the known tube diameter. With square or rectangular pipes, the combination of flat segments and radii on corners presents areas where surface velocity must change to maintain laser pulse spacing, and the focal distance must change to accommodate the varying distance between the pipe sections and the laser head. This creates a complicated programming exercise on the pipe cutter machine using up to 4 axes of motion.

Aerotech’s Automation 3200 motion platform reduces programming complexity and time by allowing the user to write programs for square or rectangular CNC pipe cutting in simple, flat, 2D space. The controller then wraps the pattern around the square pipe and the X, Y, Z and rotary motion are automatically generated from the pipe dimensions. Surface speed and proper focal length are maintained throughout the process, and advanced features like cutter compensation and multi-block look ahead remain active.

The motion generated from a simple 2D CAD file used with a G-code post-processor is shown in the video. Four axes of coordinated motion are generated from the CAD file and known pipe dimensions.