Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Pocket Milling with Tool Engagement Detection



Thomas R. Kramer


This paper presents an algorithm for generating a tool path for cutting a pocket with islands, which includes detecting when the tool is certain to be making a minimal engagement cut. Minimal engagement is defined as the amount of engagement present in peripheral milling of a flat side face of a workpiece in a straight line with constant stepover. Feed rates and spindle speeds are reset by the algorthm when machining conditions change from a minimal engagement cut to any other type of cut or vice versa.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 9138
Report Number


algorithm, automated manufacturing, machining, milling, NC-program, numerical control, pocket, tool path


Kramer, T. (1991), Pocket Milling with Tool Engagement Detection, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 25, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created January 1, 1991, Updated October 16, 2008