Tool path error prediction of a five-axis machine tool with geometric errors

Y. A. Mir, J. R.R. Mayer, C. Fortin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Predicting the actual tool path of a machine tool prior to machining a part provides useful data in order to ensure or improve the dimensional accuracy of the part. The actual tool path can be estimated by accounting for the effect of the machine tool geometric error parameters. In computer aided design/computer aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) systems, the nominal tool path [or CL (cutter location) data] is directly generated from the curves and surfaces to be machined and the errors of the machine tool are not considered. In order to take these errors into consideration, they must first be identified and then used in the machine tool forward kinematic model. In this paper a method is presented to identify the geometric errors of machine tools and predict their effect on the tool-tip position. Both the link errors (position-independent geometric error parameters) and the motion errors (position-dependent geometric error parameters) are considered. The nominal and predicted tool paths are compared and an assessment is made of the resulting surfaces with respect to the desired part profile tolerance. A methodology is also suggested to integrate this tool within a CAD/CAPP (computer aided process planning)/CAM environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-712
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutter location file
  • Five-axis machine tool calibration
  • Tool path error prediction


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