A path traversed by the tip of a cutting tool, as it manufactures a component, is called a toolpath. Undesirable geometric properties of a toolpath can cause undesirable kinematic behaviour in a machine's axes. To ensure a tool's motion is more controlled, look-ahead and toolpath smoothing algorithms anticipate and change kinematic demands of machine axes. Often the effect is that the actual toolpath is different to the intended toolpath. In such cases, the shape of the manufactured component is different to the desired shape. This paper considers the effect of toolpath geometry on machine axis motion. The results of the investigation motivate the control of toolpath geometry to produce smoother axis motion. This smoother motion can result in the manufacturing of components closer in shape to their desired designs.
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