A Systematic Point Cloud Edge Detection Framework for Automatic Aircraft Skin Milling

Zijie Wu, Yaonan Wang, He Xie, Mingtao Feng, Haotian Wu, Chao Ding, Ajmal Mian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The edge detection technique is an essential step for aircraft skin milling in aviation manufacturing. Most of the current detection methods focus on traditionally defined edge extraction tasks but disregard the crucial systematic requirement of edge milling. In this paper, we proposed a novel edge detection framework for automatic edge milling of aircraft skins. First, an edge probability detector is proposed by the spatial tangent continuity (STC) to provide the essential reference. Second, we propose a hierarchical branch searching (HBS) method to hierarchically strip the desired milling edges from the raw point cloud, which consists of three graded progressive steps: branch backbone generation, branch extension, and branch pruning. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed method on both synthetic models and aircraft skin workpieces. The proposed method outperforms the other baselines and shows accurate edges for the edge milling task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-572
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


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