Abstract

A machine tool based on a Stewart platform structure has many inherent advantages. These include: six degree of freedom, low mass and high structural rigidity. However, a good understanding of the kinematics of the structure is required for successful implementation of such a machine tool. Two attributes of a Stewart platform based machine tool — the workspace and dexterity are investigated in this work. The workspace is analyzed using a point discretization method in which discrete points are checked by the inverse kinematic solution of the Stewart Platform. The workspace thus obtained is presented graphically for various positions and orientations of the end effector. The dexterity of the workspace is studied by calculating the condition number for each discrete point. The results of the workspace and dexterity study are explained. The plots of workspace and dexterity may be used in the design stage for efficient utilization of the available workspace for a given machining operation.

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