Machinability of Surfaces via Motion Analysis

  • Robert J. CrippsEmail author
  • Ben Cross
  • Glen Mullineux
  • Mat Hunt
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10521)


The machinability of a surface describes its ability to be machined and the factors which affect this. These are independent of any material properties or cutting parameters but instead reflect an ability to replicate a desired tool path motion with sufficient control of the material removal process. Without this control there is a potential for surface defects and costly finishing stages.

Five-axis CNC milling machines are commonly used for machining complex free-form shapes. The processes required to obtain CNC instructions for a machine tool, starting from a target surface, are presented. An overview is first given and later formalised with mathematical methods. Specifically, a moving cutting tool is characterised by a tool path motion. Interpreting the moving cutter in terms of moving machine axes provides a diagnostic tool for detecting machining errors.

Examination of two case studies reveals different types of errors, machine-dependent and machine-independent. The contribution of geometry to machine-independent errors is discussed and related back to the machinability of a surface.


Machinability Five-axis machine tool Tool path motion 



The research is supported by the EPSRC research council (EP/L010321/1 and EP/L006316/1). The authors also thank Delcam International PLC for supporting the research presented in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Cripps
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ben Cross
    • 1
  • Glen Mullineux
    • 2
  • Mat Hunt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BathBathUK

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