In this paper, we give a geometric algorithm to find the optimal cutters for 2-1/2D milling operations. We define the 2-1/2D milling operations as covering the target region without intersecting with the obstruction region. This definition allows us to handle the open edge problem. Based on this definition, we introduced the offsetting and inverse-offsetting algorithm to find the coverable area for a given cutter. Following that, we represent the cutter selection problem as shortest path problem and discuss the lower and upper bond of cutter sizes that are feasible for given parts. The Dijkstra's algorithm is used to solve the problem and thus a set of cutters is selected in order to achieve the optimum machining cost.

We believe the selection of optimum cutter combination can not only save manufacturing time but also help automatic process planning. %I Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park %V ISR; TR 2000-41 %8 2000/// %G eng %U http://drum.lib.umd.edu//handle/1903/6138