A procedure that can be used to generate rough cutting tool paths with minimized variations of material removal rates (MRRs) is developed for 5-axis ball end milling of centrifugal compressor impellers. Based on the geometric model of impellers, the detailed processes in finding the cutter contact (CC) points with equal spacing for step interval between two adjacent tool paths and a constant depth between two neighboring cutting layers are presented. The developed system can considerably improve productivity and lower production costs in rough machining since the time required can be reduced by minimizing the waste tool paths. Simulation and machining tests by a 5-axis computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine are performed to illustrate the procedure and its advantages.

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