An Algorithm for a Near Optimal NC Path Generation in Staircase (Lase) Traversal of Convex Polygonal Surfaces Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents an analytical model of the tool path for staircase traversal of convex polygonal surfaces, and an algorithm-referred to as OPTPATH-developed based on the model to find the sweep angle that gives a near optimal tool path length. The OPTPATH algorithm can be used for staircase traversal with or without (i) overlaps between successive sweep passes, and (ii) rapid traversal along edge passes. This flexibility of OPTPATH renders it applicable not only to conventional operations such as face and pocket milling, but also to other processes such as robotic deburring, rapid prototyping, and robotic spray painting. The effective tool path lengths provided by OPTPATH are compared with those given by the following two algorithms: (i) a common industrial heuristic-referred to as the IH algorithm-and (ii) an algorithm proposed by Prabhu et al. (Prabhu, P. V., Gramopadhye, A. K., and Wang, H. P., 1990, Int. J. Prod. Res., 28, No. 1, pp. 101-130) referred to as PGW algorithm. This comparison is conducted using 100 randomly generated convex polygons of different shapes and a set of seven different tool diameters. It is found that OPTPATH performs better than both the IH as well as PGW algorithms. The superiority of OPTPATH over the two algorithms becomes more pronounced for large tool diameters. © 2000 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kamarthi, S. V., Bukkapatnam, S., & Hsieh, S.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • March 1999