2 min read

End Mill Optimization to Make Micro Tools Last Longer

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When it comes to cutting tools, nearly everyone would like to get more for their money, and extending the life of micro tools is one proven way to achieve it. To achieve optimum results, it requires a mix of approaches:

  • Review of performance goals and performance objectives
  • Job-specific knowledge including material, operation, and coating
  • Collaboration with a custom tool manufacturer ready to help address your machining goals and challenges

Performance Goals

Understanding your goals and performance objectives will help determine the ideal geometry approach to achieve desired results. Extending tool life or increasing cycle time may be the primary objective, but there may be related goals that might also improve the overall performance. Related goals may be to reduce vibrations, avoid deflection, or eliminate burrs. By understanding all of the objectives, the design team can determine the features that will help achieve performance goals.

Designing for Materials

The material being cut is one of the primary factors that drives geometry decisions that will impact tool life. For example, working with 17-4 can bring a unique set of machining challenges. For this material, tool designers may recommend geometry features such as increased core diameter, more space between the flutes, eccentric relief, reduced the rake for increased edge strength, and opening up the gashing for improved chip flow. Knowing the material allows the team to apply the feature set that will deliver the best results.

Coating

Heat management can have a direct impact on tool life. Adding coating to a tool can help reduce heat at the cutting edge, thereby allowing it to run more efficiently. Coating a tool with AlTiN, nACo, nACRo, TiN, or TiCN can extend tool life significantly (sometimes by more than double). It’s a low cost option that delivers a great ROI.

MITGI offers several coatings in-house and works with key suppliers for specialty coatings, like DLC and diamond coatings. Our design teams can help recommend the best coating based on material being cut and specific performance goals.

Collaborate for Longer Lasting Tools

Everything with micro tool machining has to be more exact. This includes your tool path, feed rates, and machine set up. MITGI offers custom micro tools, enabling customers to fine tune all the geometric variables and select a coating that will dramatically improve results compared to standard, off-the-shelf products.

Speak with our technical team to discuss potential ways to improve your tool’s performance. By reviewing the application, material, cutting parameters, and tool wear, we may be able to recommend tool changes that will help you reach your goals. This level of strategic support is what sets us apart and what will give you the edge when it comes to getting the most out of your tools.

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