CAD Computer Aided Design

Variable-feedrate CNC interpolators for constant material removal rates along Pythagorean-hodograph curves

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An NC system that machines a curved shape at fixed depth of cut experiences time-varying cutting forces due to the 'curvature effect' - the material removal rate is higher than nominal in concave regions, and lower in convex regions. A curvature-dependent feedrate function that automatically compensates for this effect is formulated, and it is shown that, for Pythagorean-hodograph (PH) curves, the periodic real time computation of reference points in accordance with this function can be analytically reduced to a sequence of root-finding problems for simple monotone functions. Empirical results from an implementation of this variable-feedrate interpolators on an open-architecture CNC milling machine are presented and compared with results from fixed-feedrate interpolators. The curvature-compensated feedrate scheme has important potential applications in ensuring part accuracy and in optimizing part programs consistent with a prescribed accuracy. © 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.