The contour error of machining processes is defined as the difference between the desired and actual produced shape. Two major factors contributing to contour error are axis position error and tool deflection. A large amount of research work formulates the contour error in convenient locally defined task coordinate frames that are subject to significant approximation error. The more accurate global task coordinate frame (GTCF) can be used, but transforming the control problem to the GTCF leads to a highly nonlinear control problem. An adaptive robust control (ARC) approach is designed to control machine position in the GTCF, while directly accounting for tool deflection, to minimize the contour error. The combined GTCF/ARC approach is experimentally validated by applying the control to circular contours on a three axis milling machine. The results show that the proposed approach reduces contour error in all cases tested.

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