A technique for using CNC machining as a Rapid Prototyping (RP) tool is presented. A 3-Axis machine and a programmable or indexable 4 axis is used to create complex shapes that would otherwise require 5-axis machining. The method involves a novel approach of slicing the part geometry and then fixturing through the use of a temporary feature added to the solid model. Multiple 3-axis NC programs are generated for the various rotations about the axis of the temporary feature (cylinder) used for fixturing. Similar to the support structures that are used in other rapid prototyping systems, the cylinder is removed after processing. Although a complete system has yet to be developed, the method presented herein will make automation of NC rapid prototyping straightforward
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