Turning is the most commonly available and least expensive machining operation, in terms of both machine-hour rates and tool insert prices. A practical CNC process planner has to maximize the utilization of turning, not only to attain precision requirements for turnable surfaces, but also to minimize the machining cost, while non-turnable features can be left for other processes such as milling. Most existing methods rely on separation of surface features and lack guarantees when analyzing complex parts with interacting features. In a previous study, we demonstrated successful implementation of a feature-free milling process planner based on configuration space methods used for spatial reasoning and AI search for planning. This paper extends the feature-free method to include turning process planning. It opens up the opportunity for seamless integration of turning actions into a mill-turn process planner that can handle arbitrarily complex shapes with or without a priori knowledge of feature semantics.
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