Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering


Kurfess, Thomas R

Committee Member

Ziegert , John C

Committee Member

Huang , Yong


When a process engineer creates a tool path a number of fixed decisions are made that inevitably produce sub-optimal results. This is because it is impossible to process all of the tradeoffs before generating the tool path. The research presents a methodology to support a process engineers attempt to generate optimal tool paths by performing automated digital machining and analysis. This methodology automatically generates and evaluates tool paths based on parallel processing of digital part models and generalized cutting geometry. Digital part models are created by voxelizing STL files and the resulting digital part surfaces are obtained based on casting rays into the part model. Tool paths are generated based on a general path template and updated based on generalized tool geometry and part surface information. The material removed by the generalized cutter as it follows the path is used to obtain path metrics. The paths are evaluated based on the path metrics of material removal rate, machining time, and amount of scallop. This methodology is a parallel processing accelerated framework suitable for generating tool paths in parallel enabling the process engineer to rank and select the best tool path for the job.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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