Industrial EquipmentJuly 3, 2024

Precision machining for a Mars rover

Machining composite parts such as the chassis for the Mars rover demands precise planning. That’s why CARBOMILL uses programming and simulation features in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to test and optimize every step.
Avatar Rebecca Lambert

When you’ve been tasked with precisely drilling and milling hundreds of holes in a carbon fiber chassis worth over a million euros, you don’t want to risk making a single mistake.

Destined for space, the chassis will be an integral part of the European Space Agency’s Rosalind Franklin rover, which will search for past and present signs of life on Mars. One hole milled even a fraction of a millimeter out of place on this key component could have jeopardized the entire operation. Thanks to CARBOMILL’s decision to simulate every process virtually first, that didn’t happen.

Based in Switzerland, CARBOMILL is a specialist in the machining of composites and is accustomed to complex, highly precise jobs like this. When the team there received the carbon bonded chassis structure along with the CAD model, it virtually tested the more than 2,000 different operations it needed to do on it, defined the optimal set up and simulated all the numeric code (NC) before running it on the machine. The entire task was managed on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud.

“We had to define the dimensions and make sure the milling and drilling job was going to be completely error free,” said Markus Speckert, IT business analyst at CARBOMILL. “All of this was achieved using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud. From the CAD model, we programmed and simulated the entire NC for the machine so we could virtually see and understand exactly what it needed to do.”

Businesses across the aviation, aerospace, medical and industrial sectors seek out CARBOMILL’s expertise in high precision machining. No part or geometry is too complex for the team to tackle. And since moving to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, everyone appreciates having all data, tools and machines connected in the platform’s standardized environment. This means that everyone is working with the right information and there’s no risk of duplication.

The solution is also helping to accelerate the quoting process. Because the team can check each customer brief in detail and virtually validate the machining process, it’s able to generate estimates with high accuracy from the onset, rather than encountering costly setbacks when unexpected issues arise.

“We can help our customers make a better choice,” said Roland Hoffmann, key account manager and quality manager at CARBOMILL. “There’s also no longer a risk of production using the wrong version of a design.”

Discover the full story and explore how CARBOMILL is continually enhancing quality with all product data and processes now managed in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud.

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