Generation of collision-free 5-axis tool paths using a haptic surface

Mahadevan Balasubramaniam, Stephen Ho, Sanjay Sarma, Yoshitaka Adachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


An intuitive man-machine interface for generating 5-axis tool paths is described in the paper. The system is based on a 5 degree-of-freedom force feedback haptic system, which is used to interface a human with an impenetrable 3D part. In the process of feeling the object, the user 'teaches' a milling machine to machine a virtual 3D object. The tool path generation has two phases: recording of access directions at the surface of the object and the post-processing phase. During the recording phase, three functions are carried out simultaneously: first, a fast collision detection algorithm, using hierarchical object representation, to drive the haptic system; second, visual feedback to show the regions that have been accessed by the tool; and third, a system to capture the access directions of the tool as the user touches the object. The post-processing phase involves the use of information generated in the recording phase to generate 5-axis tool paths. First, the access directions at the surface of the part are interpolated; and second, any residual collisions are detected and eliminated. We show the results of the tool path generation for two parts. The system can help an expert user generate, correct and tweak tool paths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalCAD Computer Aided Design
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 4
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-axis tool path generation
  • Collision detection
  • Collision-free tool paths
  • Haptic system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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