Post-processor development for a six degrees-of-freedom parallel-link machine tool

S. L. Chen, Y. C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A coordinate system with multiple non-orthogonal axes, defined for a parallel-link machine tool is very different from that for a conventional serial-type machine. Therefore, a special post-processor that can automatically transfer the cutter location data (CL-data) into machine specific NC commands is essential for real machining applications of a parallel-link machine tool. Parallel-link machine tools have been investigated by many previous workers. However, work on the theory of post-processors for this machine tool is very sparse, and most is focused on the orthogonal serial motion. The potential benefits of the parallel-link machine tools make work necessary and urgent on the transformation of the CL-data from a CAD/CAM system into NC commands for special parallel-link machine tools. A six degrees-of-freedom (DOF) parallel-link machine tool constructed as a 6-3-3 mechanism was selected in this work to investigate the theory of post-processing, and the effects of the cutter shapes and the machine construction on it. The parametric representations of different cutter shapes defined by the DIN standard were adopted in the work, increasing the usefulness of the post-processor theory developed. Specific parameters must be modified in the post-processor for different tools applied for real cutting. The tilt angle and yaw angle of the cutter, relative to the normal direction of the cutting surface, is also included in the theory. Finally, the NC code is generated using LabVIEW software, and simulations were performed to investigate the correctness based on several designed tool paths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-265
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Oct 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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