Four algorithms for removing shape and waviness errors in sculptured surface production processes are described in the paper. One of the algorithms employs an open-loop strategy without inspection, error analysis, and error compensation. The other three algorithms employ closed-loop inspection error analysis and error compensation strategies to manipulate control surfaces used in sculptured surface production. Coordinate measurements made on the surface being produced are compared with a designed surface and the results are used to modify related control surfaces that are used to guide processing equipment. Two of the closed-loop algorithms also use intermediate planned surfaces to improve error compensation and production control. Experiments are described in the paper in which the algorithms were tested on an experimental surface finishing system that included an optical probe, grinding spindle, and computer control system integrated with a CNC machining center. The results obtained using open-loop and closed-loop algorithms are compared, and it is shown that surface inspection, surface error analysis, surface compensation, and surface grinding can be iteratively applied to converge rough-machined test surfaces to their designed shape. The closed-loop algorithms are shown to be capable of compensating for disturbances in the finishing process that went undetected when the open-loop algorithm was used. The closed-loop algorithms have significant potential for application in automated finishing systems for molds and dies.

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