Abstract

Finding the biggest cutter is expected to help in the selection of the right sets of tools and the right type of cutter trajectories, and thereby ensure high production rate and meet the required quality level. In this paper, we describe a new geometric algorithm to determine the biggest feasible cutter size for 2-D milling operations to be performed using a single cutter. Our algorithm works not only for the common closed pocket problem, but also for the general 2-D milling problems with open edges. In particular:

• We give a general definition of the problem as the task of covering a target region without interfering with an obstruction region. This definition encompasses the task of milling a general 2-D profile that includes both open and closed edges.

• We discuss three alternative definitions of what it means for a cutter to be feasible, and explain which of these definitions is most appropriate for the above problem.

• We present a geometric algorithm for finding the maximal cutter for 2-D milling operations, and we give an outline of a proof that our algorithm is correct.

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