This paper deals with the development of a practical postprocessor for 5-axis machine tools. Recently, special 5-axis machine tools with non-orthogonal rotary axes as well as typical 5-axis machine tools with orthogonal rotary axes have been introduced. In the present work, the general equations of NC data for 5-axis configurations with non-orthogonal rotary axes are exactly expressed by the inverse kinematics, and a Windows-based postprocessor written in Visual Basic was developed according to the proposed algorithm. The developed postprocessor is a general system suitable for all kinds of 5-axis machine tools not only with orthogonal rotary axes but also with non-orthogonal rotary axes, thereby expanding the range of application of the developed postprocessor. In addition, through implementation of the developed postprocessor and verification by a cutting simulation and machining experiment, the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm was confirmed. Compatibility was improved by allowing exchange of data formats such as RTCP controlled NC data, Vector post NC data, and POF CL data, and convenience was increased by adding the function of work-piece origin offset. Consequently, a practical post-processor for 5-axis machining has been developed.

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