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Isoscallop height tool paths planning method is a high-efficient way to generate tool paths. In general, one of the edges of the surface is chosen as the initial path when using this method. In fact, the different initial paths lead to different efficiency when machining sculpture surface. Therefore selecting initial path is a significant work for isoscallop height method to improve machining efficiency. In order to find the optimal initial path, this paper presents an approach for selecting initial cutting path using cross-entropy optimization algorithm. A mapping from the initial path to the total path length is formulated and set as the objective function. Then the problem of the cutting paths optimization is translated into a constrained optimization problem. The cross-entropy method is introduced to solve constrained optimization problem. Thus the optimal paths based on isoscallop height method can be obtained. The example shows that the approach can reduce the total path length and improve the machining productivity and efficiency.