Digital image approach to tool path generation for surface machining

  • Ke Xu
  • Yingguang LiEmail author


Conventional tool path generation algorithms are usually dependent to the surface geometry and thus case-sensitive. A specific tool path planning method for regular parametric surfaces cannot directly handle a triangular mesh surface, and vice versa. Presented in this paper is a unified digital image representation of a surface, along with a general process of tool path generation and optimization directly based on such representation. Regarding different objectives and utilities, three typical digital images are introduced to represent a projectable surface. Each digital image induces a uniform discrete scalar/vector field indicating the surface geometric property, which can be further applied to the cutter contact curve generation, tool orientation determination, and the cutting simulation tasks. Preliminary examples give a sneak peek of the capability of the proposed method. It is observed that, instead of utilizing geometry-based algorithm, some global optimization task of the tool path is transformed into finding a proper convolutional kernel and its parameter for the image processing. Though more investigation is worth spending in the future, the proposed approach inaugurates a standard and effective way to facilitate the tool path generation and optimization task for surface machining.


Digital image processing Tool path generation Surface machining 


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Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 51805260) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (Grant No. U1537209).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanjing University of Aeronautics and AstronauticsNanjingChina

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