Abstract

This paper presents algorithms for computing precise 5-axis placement, orientation, and step-over calculations for end mill cutters at a single point on a sculptured surface. Present methods leave irregular scallops between finishing tool passes that require manual grinding to prepare the machined surface for polishing. The relationship between scallop height and step-over is well known for 3-axis movement of a ball end mill across a planar surface but no such relationship exists for 5-axis movement of end mills of other types. Manual grinding of machined surfaces is a time consuming process that generally results in a significant difference between the surface as designed and the actual machined surface. The goal of this approach is the elimination of rough grinding by eliminating scallops between adjacent points on consecutive finish machining passes. An example of a computer implementation of the method using a filleted end mill is also presented.

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