Diamond turning based on a fast tool servo (FTS) is widely used in freeform optics fabrication due to its high accuracy and machining efficiency. As a new trend, recently developed high-frequency and long-stroke FTS units are independently driven by a separate control system from the machine tool controller. However, the tool path generation strategy for the independently controlled FTS is far from complete. This study aims to establish methods for optimizing tool path for the independent control FTS to reduce form errors in a single step of machining. Different from the conventional integrated FTS control system, where control points are distributed in a spiral pattern, in this study, the tool path for the independent FTS controller is generated by the ring method and the mesh method, respectively. The machined surface profile is predicted by simulation and the parameters for the control point generation are optimized by minimizing the deviation between the predicted and the designed surfaces. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed tool path generation strategies, cutting tests of a two-dimensional sinewave and a micro-lens array were conducted and the results were compared. As a result, after tool path optimization, the peak-to-valley form error of the machined surface was reduced from 429 nm to 56 nm for the two-dimensional sinewave by using the ring method, and from 191 nm to 103 nm for the micro-lens array by using the mesh method, respectively.
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