Feed optimization for five-axis CNC machine tools with drive constraints
Real time control of five-axis machine tools requires smooth generation of feed, acceleration and jerk in CNC systems without violating the physical limits of the drives. This paper presents a feed scheduling algorithm for CNC systems to minimize the machining time for five-axis contour machining of sculptured surfaces. The variation of the feed along the five-axis tool-path is expressed in a cubic B-spline form. The velocity, acceleration and jerk limits of the five axes are considered in finding the most optimal feed along the tool-path in order to ensure smooth and linear operation of the servo drives with minimal tracking error. The time optimal feed motion is obtained by iteratively modulating the feed control points of the B-spline to maximize the feed along the tool-path without violating the programmed feed and the drives' physical limits. Long tool-paths are handled efficiently by applying a moving window technique. The improvement in the productivity and linear operation of the five drives is demonstrated with five-axis simulations and experiments on a CNC machine tool. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.