Skip to Main Content
This paper describes a fixture planning method that minimizes object deflection under external loads. The method takes into account the natural compliance of the contacting bodies and applies to two-dimensional and three-dimensional quasirigid bodies. The fixturing method is based on a quality measure that characterizes the deflection of a fixtured object in response to unit magnitude wrenches. The object deflection measure is defined in terms of frame-invariant rigid body velocity and wrench norms and is therefore frame invariant. The object deflection measure is applied to the planning of optimal fixture arrangements of polygonal objects. We describe minimum-deflection fixturing algorithms for these objects, and make qualitative observations on the optimal arrangements generated by the algorithms. Concrete examples illustrate the minimum deflection fixturing method. Note to Practitioners-During fixturing, a workpiece needs to not only be stable against external perturbations, but must also stay within a specified tolerance in response to machining or assembly forces. This paper describes a fixture planning approach that minimizes object deflection under applied work loads. The paper describes how to take local material deformation effects into account, using a generic quasirigid contact model. Practical algorithms that compute the optimal fixturing arrangements of polygonal workpieces are described and examples are then presented.