Adaptive tool path planning strategy for freeform surface machining using point cloud

Mandeep Dhanda, S. S. Pande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)


This paper reports the development of an efficient tool path planning strategy for machining of freeform surfaces directly from their representation in the form of point cloud without interim surface fitting. A grid based adaptive planar strategy has been designed and implemented for 3-axis CNC machining using ball end mill. Uniform CL grid points are initially computed by using tool inverse offset algorithm. Estimating the chordal and scallop errors likely to be produced, adaptive grid refinement is carried out iteratively till the errors converge below the prescribed tolerance limits. Adaptive grid (CL) points are subsequently processed to generate the final CNC part programs in the ISO format. The part programs were extensively tested for various case studies using the commercial CNC simulator as well on the actual CNC machine. Effects of variation of grid size and cloud point density were studied for grid optimality and their effect on the quality of CNC programs generated. The results were compared with those from the commercial software. Our system was found to generate more efficient tool paths in terms of enhanced productivity, part quality and reduced memory requirement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-307
Number of pages19
JournalComputer-Aided Design and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support received by the first author from the NCAIR (National Centre for Aerospace Innovation and Research) of IIT Bombay-India is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 CAD Solutions, LLC,.


  • 3-axis CNC machining
  • Adaptive tool path planning
  • Point cloud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Mathematics


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