Incremental forming (IF) is a sheet material forming method which utilizes a hemispherically tipped tool to form material. The tool is typically CNC controlled along a path which outlines the contours of the final geometry. The most common toolpaths used during forming are the spiral and step-down paths. Few variations of these toolpaths currently exist.
A novel toolpathing strategy is proposed herein. This toolpath forms a wave-like path in order to mimic the effects of vibration-assisted tooling; however, with much greater control. A variation of this strategy in which the tool does not lose contact with the surface of the part throughout its path was tested. This method has been found to be an effective approach for improving the surface variability of the final part.