Engineers at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) used a turn/mill center to reproduce a series of tiny portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, down to only 1.4 mm wide, onto brass.
Senior Editor, Production Machining
In testing new ceramic microtools, a precision dynamometer ensures that cutting forces are measured precisely so tool performance parameters can be determined.
Applications for micromachining continue to grow. Successful machining with small tools calls for a different set of process skills on the shop floor.
Threading is usually the last operation when machining components, which is why the process needs to be reliable and highly precise. DC Swiss has developed an internal thread whirler, which leaves micro threads burr-free, even in demanding, hard-to-machine materials.
Holding tolerances on very small part features is not for the faint of heart. The skill is not only in the machining, but cleaning and inspection as well.
GF Machining Solutions’s high-performance Laser P 400 U five-axis machine can machine small, intricate parts with a dual laser head that incorporates both a fiber nanosecond laser and a femtosecond pulsed laser.
Investing the time to invest in the right machines can mean the difference between a profitable operation and an ongoing headache.
This new technology uses a laser to act as a cutting tool to "turn" parts from solid barstock. This high-speed precision turning machine is especially useful for micromachining, enabling high accuracy for small, complex parts that are often delicate and difficult to machine when implementing conventional turning processes.
Senior Editor, Production Machining
Grinding very small-diameter instruments for use in medical procedures is a niche business for this micro-grinding machine manufacturer. The company makes machines that use a variety of grinding techniques to manufacture guidewires for the medical industry.
With the acquisition of a new CNC Swiss-type lathe, this company can now bid on small, complex parts it wasn’t able to in the past, while also slashing setup and cycle times.
Growing up in the industry helped this young shop owner learn key strategies for getting the most from his machines.
The idea of a tool that effectively controls heat with a special grade of carbide, a new coating and internal channels that deliver cooling through ports in the shank where the milling flutes begin, is worth a look.
“Micro deburring,” a name commonly used to describe the deburring of tiny small parts, is often considered more of an art than a science. Although this is true to some extent, deburring micro parts does not always have to require hand manicuring parts with a scalpel under 10× to 20× magnification.
Here’s a different approach to a micromachining center--a machining strategy developed around interpolation, allowing machining operations to benefit from the dynamic control of the worktable while reducing the number of tools needed.
Walter USA’s Supreme DB133 solid carbide micro drill delivers high precision and productivity.
Managing Editor, Production Machining
In metalworking, it is rare to find new approaches to well-established technologies; usually new developments are major or minor upgrades to known elements. This micromachining center is rewriting the rulebook.
Proper tooling and machining options are critical in developing an optimized plan for micromachining.
Production engineering solutions required by many Swiss watchmakers are already installed in their CNC machines when they buy them.
Production of micro threads can be challenging, but using the most suitable tools for a given application can simplify the task.
Scientists are deeply involved in exploring the frontier of micro-abrasive waterjet technology.
In one of its first commercial applications, an Ingersoll micro-boring tool has brought process stability to a machining application that the user describes as a “perfect storm.”
A variety of tooling spindle options brings micromachining work within reach for shops looking to expand their capabilities.
When the task is to remove very small amounts of material, this process may be the answer.
From watch parts to exotic medical applications, this shop takes on the world of micromachining.
Working in the manufacturing field, I find that my personal conversations with friends and family often lead to the amazing technology I see on a regular basis.
Choosing the right tools and matching them to the correct operations and process techniques for micromachining applications is critical to success in this burgeoning market.
Time will tell, but increasingly, there is evidence that points to the fact that bar-fed mills could well represent the future of complex, small parts manufacturing.