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Advances in Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 474602, 14 pages
Research Article

Optimal Design and Development of a Decoupled A/B-Axis Tool Head with Parallel Kinematics

Department of Precision Instruments, Institute of Manufacturing Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 21 March 2009; Accepted 27 September 2009

Academic Editor: Fengfeng Xi

Copyright © 2010 Fugui Xie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper is an attempt to design a decoupled A/B-axis tool head with parallel kinematics, due to the increasing demand for A/B-axis tool heads in industry, particularly in thin wall machining applications for structural aluminium aerospace components. In order to carry out further analysis, the method of orientation description based on the azimuth and tilt angles is introduced, which is a convenient method describing kinematics, parasitic motions, and orientation workspace. For the purpose of optimal design, three indices are defined to evaluate the force transmission performance of the tool head. They have obvious physical significance and are dependent of any coordinate system. Based on the indices and their performance atlases, the optimization process is presented in detail. The parasitic motions and orientation capability of the designed tool head are analyzed finally. The results show that the designed device is far from singularity, has good force transmissibility, and has very high tilting angle. The indices and analysis and design method used here should be said to be extended to other parallel robots.