Singularity-Aware Motion Planning for Multi-Axis Additive Manufacturing

Tianyu Zhang, Xiangjia Chen, Guoxin Fang, Yingjun Tian, Charlie C.L. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-axis additive manufacturing enables high flexibility of material deposition along dynamically varied directions. The Cartesian motion platforms of these machines include three parallel axes and two rotational axes. Singularity on rotational axes is a critical issue to be tackled in motion planning for ensuring high quality of manufacturing results. The highly nonlinear mapping in the singular region can convert a smooth toolpath with uniformly sampled waypoints defined in the model coordinate system into a highly discontinuous motion in the machine coordinate system, which leads to over-extrusion/under-extrusion of materials in filament-based additive manufacturing. The problem is challenging as both the maximal and the minimal speeds at the tip of a printer head must be controlled in motion. Moreover, collision may occur when sampling-based collision avoidance is employed. In this letter, we present a motion planning method to support the manufacturing realization of designed toolpaths for multi-axis additive manufacturing. Problems of singularity and collision are considered in an integrated manner to improve the motion therefore the quality of fabrication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9462416
Pages (from-to)6172-6179
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Additive manufacturing
  • collision checking
  • multi-axis motion planning
  • singularity


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