Micro-Cutting: Fundamentals and Applications

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Reproduced with premission from [4] Precision micro-structured surfaces or micro components are commonly directly machined by micro cutting, or through micro injection moulding or micro embossing with micro-cut micro moulds. Definition and Scope of Micro Cutting Micro cutting is kinematically similar to conventional cutting, but fundamentally different from conventional cutting in many aspects.

It is important to define the scope and context of micro cutting, as the term may have different meanings for different people. Micro cutting refers to mechanical micromachining direct removal of materials using geometrically defined cutter edge s carried out on conventional precision machines or micro machines. Micro cutting is normally used for machine high accuracy 3D components in a variety of engineering materials.


A number of features can be used to characterize and define the scope of micro cutting as follows:? Uncut chip thickness. Uncut chip thickness is the material layer being removed during the cutting process. Uncut chip thickness in micro cutting is different from that in conventional macro cutting. Masuzawa and Tonshoff [5] defined the micro-macro border as around ??

This borderline of uncut chip thickness decreases with advances in machining technologies. In the current state-of-the-art an uncut chip thickness less than tens of microns has been widely accepted by the micro machining community. Dimensions and accuracy of micro parts or features. Micro cutting is used to fabricate micro parts, micro features on normal-sized parts, and micro-structured surfaces.


For miniaturized parts such as micro pins, micro gears, that means micro cutting is a three dimensional machining process for a high aspect ratio part. Micro cutting normally achieves form and dimensional absolute accuracy of better than a few microns or a relative accuracy in the order of — and surface roughness Ra less than nm, although micro cutting has the capability in particular of using diamond tooling to achieve sub-micron? Cutting tool geometry. The size and geometry of micro cutting tools determine the limit of the size and accuracy of micro features. For micro milling and micro drilling tools, tool diameters are typically in a range from ?

For micro peripheral turning there is no requirement on tool size, but micro turning tools must be employed for micro-hole boring and face grooving of micro components with the high aspect ratio. Underlying cutting mechanics. Micro cutting is not a simple down scaling of conventional macro cutting. In micro cutting, when uncut chip thickness becomes comparable to the?

On the other hand, size scaling down of machine tools and cutting tools results in size effect on? Application area. Micro cutting is capable of machining a broad range of engineering materials including metals, polymers, technical ceramics and composites, and also with achievable accuracy and surface roughness.

Micro cutting has found applications in many areas requiring micro components. These examples illustrate that micro components having complex 3D geometries need to be made from a variety of materials and not just from silicon. Mechanical micro machining is an ideal method for producing complex 3D micro components with high accuracy. Micro Cutting and Nanometric Cutting There is no general agreement on the definition of nanometric cutting. But if the uncut chip thickness of mechanical cutting falls to the nanometric level, that is, less than tens of nanometers, the cutting process can be regarded as nanometric cutting.

Examples of high accuracy micro components and micro structures by micro cutting. Reproduced from [6]: a Micro trenches. Reproduced with permissions from [7]; b Micro r?

Micro Cutting: Fundamentals and Applications by John Wiley and Sons Ltd (Hardback, 2013)

Reprinted from [9]. Copyright Elsevier; d Micro-gear. Reproduced with permission from [10]. Noh-mark Fanuc. Micro needles array. Reprinted from [11].

Copyright Elsevier; h Micro wall. Reproduced with permission from [12]; i Target foil for nuclear fusion. Reproduced with permission from [13]. This can also be regarded as nanometric cutting. One of the promising applications using nanometric cutting is ductile mode cutting with nanometric level surface roughness and being free from cracks in brittle materials, such as semiconductor materials.

But it should be noted that most nanometric cutting experiments were carried out? Among various numerical simulation techniques, molecular dynamics MD simulation has played a significant role in investigating nanometric cutting mechanics. MD simulation is an extremely accurate simulation method on the atomic scale and has the ability to fully describe the micro? However, the simulation scale of MD is limited by computational power and so far even at the largest scale it can only reach a few?

Therefore, MD simulation has been mainly applied to nanometric cutting where depth of cut is at the nanometric level. Since then several meaningful studies were carried out in different aspects of nanometric machining, including crystallographic orientation effects on plastic deformation [16], tool edge radius and minimum depth of cut effects on the chip formation mechanism [17], effects of defect structure in the workpiece material, diamond tool wear [18]; [1], subsurface deformed layer property [19], and so on. Although the simulation scale of MD cannot directly cover micro cutting processes typically, a few to a few hundreds of microns , these studies provide valuable base-line data?

The length scale of micro cutting in nature falls between nanometric cutting and macro cutting, therefore the micro cutting inherently has the characteristics of both. Studying the micro cutting process is very important in order to bridge the gap between the conventional macro cutting and nanometric cutting process. Materials in Micro Cutting One of the advantages of micro cutting over MEMS micro manufacturing is that micro cutting has fewer constraints on material choices. Almost all the material families — m?

As shown in Figure? Some of the? Although micro cutting uses the same range of materials as macro cutting, there are a number of material issues in micro cutting which is fundamentally different from macro?

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These material issues affect micro cutting performance and hence research efforts? Most engineering materials used are polycrystalline materials with typical grain size varying from between approximately nm to ? When a micro part or feature decreases in relation to this size range, grains are actually equivalent to being either removed or refined. For most metals, mechanical properties are dominated by the presence and mobility of structural dislocations.

The changed material properties will in turn affect machinability of micro cutting. Experiments on micro cutting of multiphase materials have shown significant varying cutting mechanisms and the associated process response [20], [21], [22]. Various material constitutive models have been employed to model material behaviours in micro cutting. These micro-tools are used to machine ceramic molds for micro-glass lenses. Cutting tools with rectangular, triangular, and other complex OO tool geometries are machined using FIB [27].

Author Proof fabrication. The cutting edge dimensions can be brought down to nanometric range by precisely controlling the ion sputtering [26]. Sub-micrometer cutting edge radius is accomplished using this method. The process is capable of realizing more complex geometries, better dimensional resolution, and repeatability for the tool. Despite of all these advantages, FIB has its own limitations. Due to the Gaussian energy distribution of the beam, more material removal occurs at the edge close to the ion source results in edge or corner rounding as explained in Fig.

Along with that, the sputtering process which removes material as atom by atom PR from the tool surface is very slow in nature [31]. Miniaturizing the conventional tool geometries exhibits some prob- lems as explained in the previous sections. The triangular type and D-type end mills shows good rigidity compared to the two flute mills. However, the quality of machined surface is poor due to large negative rake angle due to small uncut chip ED thickness [32].

PCD tools made with different processes are analyzed by varying the cutting speed and feed [33]. The optimum range of depth of cut and feed range of PCD cutting tool are found, beyond which ploughing effects will be predominant and the surface quality reduces. As explained in Sect. EDM milling and die-sinking EDM which are comparatively faster variants of EDM are not effectively used for micro-cutting tool fabrication so far.

To address this problem, more rigid tool geometries have to be realized. Therefore, an attempt has been made by the authors to combine different EDM variants for fabrication of micro-end mill tool.

As shown in Fig. The cameras will help to align workpiece with tool and help to observe and measure the micro-tool dimensions during machining. RE The process includes following steps: a flattening the workpiece surface, b and c fabrication of end mill tool by EDM milling, d die-sinking EDM to remove material from the side surface, e testing of micro-tool on poly methyl methacrylate PMMA material by machining micro-channels. OR A WC rod is used to flatten the top surface of 1 mm end mill cutter. Utilizing the cameras placed in different directions, the dimension of this machined micro-feature is measured during machining.

This has four sharp edges which are capable of removing material or C in other words, can be used as a micro-cutting tool. However, this straight UN edge tool has high negative rake angle during machining which deteriorate the surface quality. To solve this problem, die-sinking EDM is employed to make a curve edged tool which reduces the effective rake angle during machining.

The removed area produced a cutting OR edge with reduced rake angle. The same EDM arrangement is fol- lowed with two cameras for setting up the electrode and tool inspection.

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A thin brass sheet is employed to set the top surface reference point. The side walls are straight. Burrs formed during the machining are clearly visible in Figs. In Fig. Finally, to satisfy the criteria for good cutting tool, rubbing of top middle area of C the cutting tool with the bottom surface of channel has to be reduced.

To accom- plish this, die-sinking EDM can be again used to remove material from the center of UN the cutting tool. F OO 1. To accomplish this, different advanced machining techniques have to be carefully studied and employed. Understanding the capabilities and PR limitations of each process will help to select an appropriate method of tool fab- rication. It also helps to advance the research in mechanical micro-machining.

Laser beam machining is employed for fabrication of SCD micro-end mill tools with complex tool geometry. FIB is a promising machining technique for very small cutting tools but Gaussian energy distribution of the beam results in edge rounding.


A new micro-end mill tool is successfully fabricated using compound machining method and tool characteristics are studied with performance tests. This encourages exploring this technology further for fabrication of high quality micro-tools. OR References 1. J Mater Process Technol 1 :2—16 2. J Mater Process Technol 1 —43 C 3. Author Proof 6. Egashira K, Mizutani K Micro-drilling of monocrystalline silicon using a cutting tool. Ali MY Fabrication of microfluidic channel using micro end milling and micro electrical discharge milling.

Int J Adv Manuf Technol 77 9—12 — Huo D Micro-cutting: fundamentals and applications.

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This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Acknowledgements The authors thank Dr. Int J Mach Tools Manuf — Part I: analytical cutting force model. J Manuf Sci Eng Mach Sci Technol — Lee K, Dornfeld D Micro-burr formation and minimization through process control. Precis Eng — Kiswanto G, Zariatin DL, Ko TJ The effect of spindle speed, feed-rate and machining time to the surface roughness and burr formation of aluminum alloy in micro-milling operation.

J Manuf Process — Uriarte L, Herrero A, Zatarain M et al Error budget and stiffness chain assessment in a micromilling machine equipped with tools less than 0. Biermann D, Kahnis P Analysis and simulation of size effects in micromilling. Prod Eng — Part II: tool run-out. J Mater Process Technol —— Altintas Y, Jin X Mechanics of micro-milling with round edge tools.

Rao S, Shunmugam MS Analytical modeling of micro end-milling forces with edge radius and material strengthening effects. Lai X, Li H, Li C, et al Modelling and analysis of micro scale milling considering size effect, micro cutter edge radius and minimum chip thickness. J Mater Process Technol — Jin X, Altintas Y Prediction of micro-milling forces with finite element method.