Automatic Tool Path Generation

From: Brent Stucker (
Date: Mon Feb 02 1998 - 16:10:29 EET

I have heard about software packages that use STL files to generate tool
paths automatically. Is anyone familiar with commercially available software
that can be used for that purpose?

What I need is a way to automatically create tool paths for finish machining
(where you use RP to make a near-net shape part and CNC to finish the
part to tolerance). I am working on an approach whereby you use SLS to
create a part that is slightly larger than the desired final product and then use
an STL file to create tools paths for finish machining. I can envision an
approach where you could use a "beam-offset" method for creating the tool
paths (much like you would use for laser beam width compensation on a SLS or
SLA machine) and start out, say, 30 thousandths of an inch from the final
desired dimensions and work in at 5 thousandths increments.

If someone knows of some currently available tools that could help me out, I'd
be appreciative. Otherwise, I'll have to create my own software tools.


Dr. Brent Stucker
Assistant Professor
University of Rhode Island
Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Gilbreth Hall, 2 East Alumni Ave.
Kingston, RI 02881
ph: (401)874-5187
fax: (401)874-5540

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