Incorporating automation into wind turbine blade manufacturing is important for reducing costs to meet current offshore wind energy production goals in the United States. This work proposes a process for automating three operations in wind blade manufacturing: trimming to remove flashing left over after bonding two blade skins together, grinding to produce a desired leading-edge shape, and sanding to prepare the blade for bonding overlamination or adding paint to the surface. The majority of this work focuses on the toolpath generation. The algorithms were tested on a 5-m blade section, and the results were analyzed in terms of operation speed and accuracy. Finally, future work is discussed to improve the performance of the system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalWind Energy
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-87822


  • automation
  • grinding
  • sanding
  • wind blade manufacturing


Dive into the research topics of 'Toolpath Generation for Automated Wind Turbine Blade Finishing Operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this