Highly-accurate 5-axis flank CNC machining with conical tools
A new method for $5$-axis flank computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining using a predefined set of tappered ball-end-mill tools (aka conical) cutters is proposed. The space of lines that admit tangential motion of an associated truncated cone along a general, doubly curved, free-form surface is explored. These lines serve as discrete positions of conical axes in 3D space. Spline surface fitting is used to generate a ruled surface that represents a single continuous sweep of a rigid conical milling tool. An optimization based approach is then applied to globally minimize the error between the design surface and the conical envelope. Our computer simulation are validated with physical experiments on two benchmark industrial datasets, reducing significantly the execution times while preserving or even reducing the milling error when compared to the state-of-the-art industrial software.