Developing a General Postprocessor for Multi-Axis CNC Milling Centers


Piegl, Les A.


Most of the current college design and manufacturing curricula are primarily focused on computer aided design (CAD), while less emphasis is given to computer aided manufacturing (CAM). A great opportunity has been missed as the benefits of CAD/CAM cannot then be fully learned. This paper proposes a general procedure for developing a post processor, the interface between CAD/CAM systems and NC (Numerically Controlled) machines, for multi- axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling centers. The strategy comprises a systematic methodology of using CL data information for developing a machine specific code. As an example, a post processor was developed using Siemens NX- Post Builder commercial software for the five axis CNC milling center- Fryer 5X with a FANUC series 18i- MB5 controller. The developed post processor was validated by manufacturing five axes parts and by using different CAM tool paths. Identified error sources could be corrected by modifying the kinematic model of the post processor. Hence, implementation of this procedure for the development of a post processor would streamline the process of integrating CAM systems for multi- axis CNC milling centers. The integrated system is being used to support research and education projects to accurately and quickly produce parts.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Computer Aided Manufacturing; Post Processor; Error Compensation

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2012 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2012