VCPe gives a composite part designer, mechanical engineer or process engineer access to the same software tools NC programmers use to create Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) NC program paths that are subsequently used in the workshop to lay-up a composite part. Using these tools the part designer or engineer can easily create and experiment with various AFP path options and evaluate the effects AFP manufacturing has on a composite part’s design intent. By producing actual AFP tape courses that could be used to program AFP fabrication equipment in the workshop, the user can measure and evaluate the effects of AFP path trajectory, material steering, surface curvature, course convergence and other process constraints as they would be applied in manufacturing. Tape course geometry can be written to various CAD formats for further evaluation by the user’s existing analysis methods and tools.

VCPe provides produceability analysis for:

  • Fiber angle based on the curvature of the part
  • Overlap and gaps needed for structural analysis

VCPe contains a subset of standard VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) features, and accordingly presents a subset of choices in its user interface. Those features associated with post-processing and writing AFP NC programs are not available. However, VCPe files containing AFP tape courses are compatible with standard VCP and can be used as a starting point for AFP off-line NC programming. VCPe can be upgraded to standard VCP.

An interface to Vistagy’s Fibersim composite design suite of products is included. Interfaces for other CAD formats including CATIA, NX and STEP are available.