This paper presents a 5-axis side milling scheme for freeform surfaces based on automatic piecewise ruled surface approximation. With this scheme, resulting surface finish is accurate and pleasing, and has a smaller scallop height compared to ball-end milling. The ruled surface approximation can be made arbitrarily precise resulting in an overall fast milling operation that satisfies tight tolerances, and smoother surface finish. The class of surfaces that can take advantage of this type of 5-axis milling operation includes both convex and saddle-like (hyperbolic) shapes.

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