A variety of projects all related to 5-axis machining have been undertaken in the machining lab. These projects can be broadly classified into: Tool path planning, Flank milling, Mechanistic modelling, NC control design and NC machine design. Below is a brief description of these projects; for more details, see the links to the left.
The Principal Axis Method (PAM), the Multi-Point Machining (MPM), the Rolling Ball Method (RBM) are tool path planning strategies developed in the lab for efficient machining of curved surfaces with flat and radiused end mills. Current work is focused on the RBM. Future work will focus on interfacing these methods with existing CAM packages.
Rolling a cylinder or a cone on two wires are techniques for developing Flank Milling tools paths. Currently, optimization methods are being developed to modify the tool paths to generate specified surfaces to within a tolerance. Future work will deal with design of curved surfaces that can be flank milled.In 5-axis machining efficiency is achieved by increasing the size of the side step. This however, changes the shape and size of the chip produced. Studies are underway to predict the impact of this change of the machining process and to develop a model to predict the forces generated for future predictive work in this area.