Automated Deposition machines are used in a variety of areas of the composites industry for expediting the manufacture of parts. As these machines become more sophisticated, so too do their requirements in terms of input data. Due to the architecture of the material they deposit (how the tows of material are bound to one another), many fiber-placement and tape-laying machines need plies with similar material/orientation and areas of coverage to have different origin points in order to insure that the splices between tows do not fall directly on top of one another.
The Stagger Origin object in Fibersim generates a set of staggered origin points for a given set of plies. Once a ply is linked to a Stagger Origin object, its origin is overridden by the one computed by the Stagger Origin. For example, in the case below, four 90-degree plies need to have unique origins due to the Automated Deposition machine being used in the part’s manufacture:
The Stagger Origin object in Fibersim requires an origin point to be selected (or indicated) on the laminate surface that lies within the boundary of all the plies the Stagger Origin is to be applied to. The direction in which the computed origin points are offset is controlled by the Direction Type. The default setting, Rosette, indicates that the offset direction will be perpendicular to the ply’s specified orientation (as measured from the ply’s Rosette). So in our example, since the selected plies are all 90-degrees, the computed origins would be staggered in the Rosette 0-degree direction. Alternatively, a Fiber Axis can be selected, which represents the main Automated Deposition machine axis. Solely for the purposes of determining the Stagger Origin offset direction, the selected Fiber Axis essentially overrides the Rosette 0-direction so that the ply’s specified orientation is measured from the selected curve (the ply orientation is not actually changed). The offset direction will therefore be perpendicular to this new theoretical ply orientation as measured from the selected curve.
In order for the Stagger Origin object to highlight properly with the actual computed origins, it needs to be applied to one or more plies. This can be done by modifying the plies and proceeding to the “Extended Geometry” tab. Once the type of Automated Deposition machine has been selected (Automated Tape Laying or Fiber Placement), the Stagger Origin can be selected:
The results of applying the Stagger Origin to our four 90-degree plies can be seen below: