Trochoidal (TR) tool paths have been a popular means in high-speed machining for slot cutting, owing to its unique way of cyclically advancing the tool to avoid the situation of a full tool engagement angle suffered by the conventional type of slot cutting. However, advantageous in lowering the tool engagement angle, they sacrifice in machining efficiency—to limit the tool engagement angle, the step distance has to be carefully controlled, thus resulting in a much longer total machining time. Toward the objective of improving the machining efficiency, in this paper, we propose a new type of TR tool path for milling an arbitrary curved slot. For our new type of TR tool path, within each TR cycle, rather than moving circularly, the tool moves in a particular way such that the material removal rate is maximized while the given maximum engagement angle is fully respected. While this type of TR tool path works perfectly only for circular slots (including straight ones), by means of an adaptive decomposition and then a novel iso-arc-length mapping scheme, it is successfully applied to any general arbitrarily curved slot. Our experiments have confirmed that, when compared with the conventional TR tool paths, the proposed new type of TR tool path is able to significantly reduce the total machining time by as much as 25%, without sacrificing the tool wear.

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