Trajectory generation in high-speed, high-precision micromilling using subdivision curves

Athulan Vijayaraghavan, Angela Sodemann, Aaron Hoover, J. Rhett Mayor, David Dornfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Motion control in high-speed micromilling processes requires fast, accurate following of a specified curvilinear path. The accuracy with which the path can be followed is determined by the speed at which individual trajectories can be generated and sent to the control system. The time required to generate the trajectory is dependent on the representations used for the curvilinear trajectory path. In this study, we introduce the use of subdivision curves as a method for generating high-speed micromilling trajectories. Subdivision curves are discretized curves which are specified as a series of recursive refinements of a coarse mesh. By applying these recursive properties, machining trajectories can be computed very efficiently. Using a set of representative test curves, we show that with subdivision curves, trajectories can be generated significantly faster than with NURBS curves, which is the most common method currently used in generating high-speed machining trajectories. Trajectories are computed efficiently with subdivision curves as they are natively discretized, and do not require additional evaluation steps, unlike in the case of NURBS curves. The reduced trajectory generation time allows for improved performance in high-speed, high-precision micromilling. We discuss the use of several metrics to quantify the quality of the subdivision interpolation, and apply them in calculating the error during trajectory generation for the test curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-403
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Micromilling
  • Subdivision surfaces
  • Trajectory generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Trajectory generation in high-speed, high-precision micromilling using subdivision curves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this