Abstract

The primary objective of an efficient CNC finishing toolpath strategy is to reduce the machining time and maintain desired surface finish (scallop). Among traditional toolpath planning strategies, Iso-scallop gives the shortest toolpath while achieving a uniform surface finish. However, it is computationally complex, time-consuming, and sometimes produces topological inconsistencies in regions of high curvature/gradient. This paper presents a novel voxel-based toolpath planning algorithm to address these issues for the 3-axis milling of freeform surfaces. Two strategies have been proposed, namely, Iso-scallop and Hybrid Iso-scallop. Gouge-free CL points are initially computed from the voxel-based model, followed by Iso-scallop toolpath generation using a binary search algorithm. The hybrid strategy involves region segmentation to generate adaptive toolpath in regions of high curvature/gradients. The overlapping toolpath is stitched and refined to create an efficient iso-scallop-based tool path. The developed system was extensively tested for complex freeform surface parts and was found to be computationally efficient, robust, and accurate in generating a finishing toolpath

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