Feature-based tool path generation approach for incremental sheet forming process

B. Lu, J. Chen*, H. Ou, J. Cao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Incremental sheet forming (ISF) is a highly versatile and flexible process for rapid manufacturing of complex sheet metal parts. Although tool path plays an important role in the ISF process, there is only limited development in the tool path generation strategy and the conventional contour based strategies have been proven to cause problems in surface quality and geometric accuracy. This paper presents a new feature-based tool path generation algorithm for incremental sheet forming process. In this algorithm, tool paths are generated according to the specified critical edges. To obtain a better understanding of forming mechanism using the new tool path generation method, the thickness distribution, geometric accuracy and surface quality of the ISF formed shapes by using the feature-based tool path approach are compared with the traditional ISF tool path method based on three case studies including a truncated cone with double bottoms, a non-symmetrical cone and a car fender. The results suggest that the new tool path stretches the sheet in a different way and results in different thickness distributions. The results of these case studies also demonstrate the advantages of the feature based tool path generation especially in surface quality, geometric accuracy and forming time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1233
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • Feature
  • Incremental sheet forming
  • Tool path

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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