Estimation of maximum allowable step length for five-axis cylindrical machining

Yean Ren Hwang, Min Tse Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Five-axis cylindrical machining is the only way to machine some complicated sculptured surfaces, such as the wheel surfaces of turbo compressors. Current computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) algorithms for five-axis cylindrical machining only consider the surfaces' geometric information when generating cutter contact points (CC points). Hence, the step length, which is the distance between two CC points, is determined only by the surface parameters for these CAM algorithms. Because of tool-axis rotation, the actual cut trajectory within each step is no longer a straight line passing through two consecutive CC points for five-axis machining. Thus the cut error and the maximum allowable step length should depend on the structural parameters of NC machines as well as the surface's geometry. This paper develops a new algorithm to estimate the maximum allowable step length based on the cut error of five-axis cylindrical machining, and shows that this algorithm provides better estimation than traditional algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cylindrical machining
  • Five-axis NC
  • Step length
  • Tool path generation


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