Direct 5-axis tool-path generation from point cloud input using 3D biarc fitting

K. L. Chui, W. K. Chiu, Kai Ming Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


In reverse engineering, geometrical information of a product is obtained directly from a physical shape by a digitizing device. To fabricate the product, manufacturing information (usually tool-path) must be generated from a CAD model. The data digitized must be processed and in most cases, a surface model is constructed from them using some of the surface fitting technologies. However, these technologies are usually complicated and the process for constructing a surface patch from a massive digitizing data is time-consuming. To simplify the process for getting tool-path information, a simple algorithm is proposed in this paper. The algorithm is used to generate a 5-axis machining tool-path. Instead of implementing any complicated surface fitting techniques, a direct method is proposed for constructing three-dimensional (3D) triangular mesh from the digitizing data with the mesh points considered as the tool contact locations. Depending on the locations of the points digitized, a decimation procedure is applied such that some of the digitizing data will be filtered out. Then, the tool axis orientations which must be determined in 5-axis tool-path are calculated and the tool center locations are determined accordingly. A 3D biarc fitting technique is applied for all the tool center locations so that a complete 5-axis tool-path is obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


  • 3D biarc
  • 5-Axis tool-path
  • Machining
  • Point cloud
  • Reverse engineering
  • Triangular mesh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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