3D Locator

DeskArtes 3D Locators - improve your logistics operations

3D Locators are a tool for improved logistics and assembly line operations. 3D Locators enable more efficient component packing for transportation as well as more efficient assembly operations with robots, grippers and automatically guided vehicles (AGV). Below is an example of the current state of the art component packing against a 3D Locator enabled packing:

The images above give an example on how car components can be packed more densely into the transportation container when using 3D Locators. Components can overlap both in horizontal plane as well as in vertical direction allowing more components in a container, even up to 30% more components depending on the component geometry. Additionally, the components are positioned accurately to enable quick video guided robot picking at an assembly line. These operations are not possible with the current standard grid packing.

The generation of 3D Locator geometries can be done with conventional 3D CAD systems in some cases. Anyhow, this can take several days per locator plate. Long design time prevents experimenting with different component arrangements for optimal component packing. DeskArtes 3Data Expert 3D Locator command enables automatic or semi-automatic component positioning and quick generation of 3D Locator geometries based on the original component geometry. Different 3D Locator component arrangements can be tested in minutes instead of days. Additionally, sufficient room for a robot gripper can be automatically added around the components.

After the 3D Locator geometries are generated, the physical plates can be generated in variety of ways. The plates can be generated using Additive Manufacturing (AM) or CNC milling. For example, if AM generated tools would be used for the 3D Locator generation, the following process would be recommended:

  • Start with 3Data Expert 3D Locator command to generate 3D locator plate geometry based on the original component 3D geometry
  • Use 3Data Expert STL geometry generation tools to create a solid STL model of a vacuum forming tool from the 3D locator plate geometry.
  • Generate a vacuum forming tool using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) AM process or other suitable AM processes.
  • Generate the 3D Locator plates using the SLS tools and vacuum forming processes.

In the video below an example of a 3D Locator usage. The AVG and robot can reliably pick and tranport car components from the container to the storage system.

Link to the video

Below we can two examples. On the right hand image we can see the SLS based vacuum forming tool generated from the 3D Locator STL geometry. On the right hand side the corresponding vacuum formed plate is dispalyed.

DeskArtes 3D Locator command allows to generate the necessary 3D Locator plate geometries within hours instead of days when compared to traditional CAD systems:

Designed by hand with CAD, can take weeks

Generated with 3D Locator command in less than hour

Please contact DeskArtes managing director Ismo Mäkelä (ismo.makela@deskartes.fi) for more information on 3D Locator concept and how it could be used to improve your logistics operations!

3D Locator development was funded with EIT Digital OEDIPUS program, Activity ID: 16455-A1904.