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Toolpath algorithm for free form irregular contoured walls / surfaces with internal deflecting connections.

Arivazhagan, A.


A. Arivazhagan


This paper presents a toolpath generation method to efficiently machine free form irregular contoured walls / surfaces (FIWS) containing internal deflecting connections (IDC’s). The toolpath generation method is based on a series of identifications and calculations, where initially a ‘Main Computable Zone (MCZ)’ in the Machinable Areas (Ma’s) of FIWS is identified based on the Tool track dimensions (Td). Then the MCZ’s are divided into Split Computable Zones (SCZ’s) and Split Computable Zones for Internal Connections (SCZI’s) which are subsequently sub divided as ‘Categorized Computable Zones’ (CCZ) with simple-medium-high complexity. The identification of CCZ’s is based on the 10 different types of FIWS representations developed for this study. From the CCZ’s categorization of complexity, they are further split into smaller ‘Machinable Zones (MZ’s)’ using a 4-step algorithm. In the algorithm, the first step calculates a common plane (CP) to cut the steep areas in the CCZ’s where the tool cannot have full access for machining. Once the CP is identified, the second step is to extend it by moving them along the CCZ’s and calculate the necessary ‘Machinable Zones (MZ’s)’ in the next stage. This is done by finding the intersection of CP with the FIWS through a point to point / line plane intersection concept. After this step, the MZ’s are re-iterated by including the open and closed surface criteria and is analyzed for the IDC’s to be combined in the fourth stage. This is achieved by adding up the IDC’s with the existing MZ’s computed by the algorithm. At every stage, the algorithm considers tool collision avoidance and tool rubbing in the CCZ’s and MZ’s . This is by an automatic computation based on the height to fixture clearance for safer neck length which avoids collision and rubbings in the final toolpaths. Finally, a combined tool path is generated for all the MZ’s and has been verified / tested for a sample part and impeller containing similar shapes using UG NX / STEP –NC software.


ARIVAZHAGAN, A. 2020. Toolpath algorithm for free form irregular contoured walls/surfaces with internal deflecting connections. Materials today: proceedings [online], 22(4): proceedings of 2nd International materials, manufacturing and modelling conference 2019 (ICMMM 2019), 29-31 March 2019, Vellore, India, pages 3037-3047. Available from:

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 2nd International conference on materials manufacturing and modelling 2019 (ICMMM 2019)
Conference Location Vellore, India
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2018
Online Publication Date May 4, 2020
Publication Date May 31, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 24, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2021
Journal Materials Today: Proceedings
Print ISSN 2214-7853
Electronic ISSN 2214-7853
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 4
Pages 3037-3047
Keywords Toolpath; MCZ; SCZ; CCZ; FIWS; STEP-NC
Public URL


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