Sculptured surfaces often appear in mechanical parts of various industrial products as external form or the functional surface and are commonly found in molds and dies. In this study a sculptured surface is defined by a Non-Uniform Rational B-spline (NURB) surface that provides the flexibility and freedom for surface description. The work proposed here includes the evaluation of machining information, decision for machining process sequence selection, automatic cutter selection, and cutter path generation. Machining information is first evaluated by using series of hunting planes, calculating the geometric shape and constraints of the machining cavity. A decision on the process sequence is made based on the evaluated machining information. The cutter size is automatically determined by considering geometric constraints, the maximum material removal rate in roughing process and the minimum cutter movement with the required accuracy in finishing process. The roughing process is done by some pocketing procedures that consider arbitrary shaped pockets with islands on the cutting planes. Cutter movement and cutter selection are optimized by considering machining conditions on adjacent cutting planes. An integrated system called CASCAM has been developed to prove the feasibility of the proposed approach.

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