in this paper, heuristic algorithms such as simulated annealing (SA), genetic algorithm (GA) and hybrid algorithm (hybrid-GASA) were applied to tool-path optimization problem for minimizing airtime during machining. Many forms of SA rely on random starting points that often give poor solutions. The problem of how to efficiently provide good initial estimates of solution sets automatically is still an ongoing research topic. This paper proposes a hybrid approach in which GA provides a good initial solution for SA runs. These three algorithms were tested on three-axis-cartesian robot during milling of wood materials. Their performances were compared based on minimum path and consequently minimum airtime. In order to make a comparison between these algorithms, two cases among the several milling operations were given here. According to results obtained from these examples, hybrid algorithm gives better results than other heuristic algorithms alone. Due to combined global search feature of GA and local search feature of SA, hybrid approach using GA and SA produces about 1.5% better minimum path solutions than standard GA and 47% better minimum path solutions than standard SA. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.