In this paper a new hardware accelerated method is presented to evaluate the machinability of free-form surfaces. This method works on tessellated models that are commonly used by CAD systems to render three-dimensional shaded images of solid models. Modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) can be programmed in hardware to accelerate specialized rendering techniques. In this research, we have developed new algorithms that utilize the programmability of GPUs to evaluate machinability of free-form surfaces. The method runs in real time on fairly inexpensive hardware (<$600), and performs well regardless of the surface type. The complexity of the method is dictated by the size of the projected view of the model. The proposed method can be used as a plug-in in a CAD system to evaluate manufacturability of a part at early design stages. The efficiency and the speed of the proposed method are demonstrated on some complex objects.

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