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Claims for Patent: 5,944,329

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Claims for Patent: 5,944,329

Title: Reversible micromachining locator
Abstract:This invention provides a device which includes a locator, a kinematic mount positioned on a conventional tooling machine, a part carrier disposed on the locator and a retainer ring. The locator has disposed therein a plurality of steel balls, placed in an equidistant position circumferentially around the locator. The kinematic mount includes a plurality of magnets which are in registry with the steel balls on the locator. In operation, a blank part to be machined is placed between a surface of a locator and the retainer ring (fitting within the part carrier). When the locator (with a blank part to be machined) is coupled to the kinematic mount, the part is thus exposed for the desired machining process. Because the locator is removably attachable to the kinematic mount, it can easily be removed from the mount, reversed, and reinserted onto the mount for additional machining. Further, the locator can likewise be removed from the mount and placed onto another tooling machine having a properly aligned kinematic mount. Because of the unique design and use of magnetic forces of the present invention, positioning errors of less than 0.25 micrometer for each machining process can be achieved.
Inventor(s): Salzer; Leander J. (Los Alamos, NM), Foreman; Larry R. (Los Alamos, NM)
Assignee: The Regents of the University of California (Los Alamos, NM)
Application Number:08/925,096
Patent Claims: 1. A locator and mount apparatus for machining parts, said apparatus comprising

(1) a kinematic mount which comprises on its top surface either a connecting means or means receptive to a connecting means and grooves, said connecting or said receptive means and said grooves alternating circumferentially; and

(2) at least one locator comprising either a connecting means or a means receptive to a connecting means which further comprises a part support means and, on both locator surfaces, a plurality of projections, where said projections are positioned and sized such that when said locator is disposed on said mount, with either surface contacting said mount, said projections and said grooves position said locator upon said mount.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mount comprises a connecting means and said connecting means are magnets, and said locator comprises a means receptive to said connecting means and said receptive means is that said locator is made of a material attractive to said magnets.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said magnets are rare earth magnets.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said grooves are V-grooves.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said mount comprises three V-grooves, radially placed at 120.degree. intervals around the circumference of said mount.

6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said mount comprises six V-grooves, radially placed at 60.degree. intervals around the circumference of said mount.

7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said mount comprises an adjustable magnet mounting system.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said projections are steel balls.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said locator comprises three steel balls placed at 120.degree. intervals around the circumference of said locator.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said locator comprises a part support means which comprises a retainer ring.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said locator comprises a part support means which comprises a part support clamp means.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said at least one locator comprises a first locator and a second locator wherein said locators are simultaneously disposed upon said mount.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein said first locator comprises a means to carry a part, a plurality of projections, a plurality of offset bosses, magnet clearance holes, and projection clearance holes, where such components are positioned such that two locators can be simultaneously disposed upon said mount.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein said first locator comprises three projections, three offset bosses, three magnet clearance holes and three projection clearance holes and each of these components is placed at 120.degree. intervals around the circumference of said locator.

15. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein said second locator comprises a means to carry a part, a plurality of projections, a plurality of offset bosses, offset boss clearance holes, and projection clearance holes, where such components are positioned such that two locators can be simultaneously disposed upon said mount.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said second locator comprises three projections, three offset bosses, three offset boss clearance holes, and three projection clearance holes and each of these components is placed at 120.degree. intervals around the circumference of said locator.
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