Based on observations made on the geometry of the cutting tools and the degrees of freedom in 3-, 4-, 5-axis numerical control machines, a new class of geometric algorithms is induced on the unit sphere. Spherical algorithms are useful for determining the type of tool, its path, workpiece fixturing, and the type of machine. Basic to these algorithms are four that are presented here: detection of convexity on the sphere, computation for spherically convex hull, determination of the spherical convexity of a union, and the intersection of hemispheres. These four algorithms are related by duality and the sharing of partial results.

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