LMT Tools High-performance cutters for micro-milling applications

Author / Editor: By Dr. Diethard Thomas, LMT Consultant. / Barbara Schulz

Germany – Technology developments are increasing the demand for manufacturing of micro-scale components. These trends present mould makers with new and diverse challenges. LMT's micro-cutters help to reduce machining times.

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Micro-milling cutter machines a hardened extrusion die.
Micro-milling cutter machines a hardened extrusion die.
(Source: LMT)

In view of the increasing miniaturisation of components, also in conjunction with lightweight construction, micro-milling is becoming increasingly important. The LMT Tools group of companies is rising to this challenge with the development of special high-performance cutting tools for the automotive and aerospace industry, medical engineering, and consumer products. They have become innovative performers, especially for manufacturing small moulds.

However, micro-milling cutters can do even more. They also replace gravers. And they do this with great economic success, as their practical use confirms.

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Micro-cutting is different in many ways

The requirements that micro-cutting have to meet differ considerably from those of macro-cutting because the classic metal-cutting theory cannot be transferred 1:1. For instance, cutting speeds of 150 m/min can usually not be realised because a spindle speed of 239,000 rpm would be necessary for a diameter of 0.2 mm. Due to the micro-dimensions, there are also special requirements regarding the stiffness of the tools in order to withstand the cutting force components. To this end, special technical production measures must be taken during production of the tools, with the objective of also minimum cutting-edge notchiness and perfect run-out.

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Very often, tool breakage is the cause of the end of the tool life of a micro tool. Not only faulty cutting-edge topographies are responsible for this, but also unsuitable cutting parameters with regard to the cubically decreasing stiffness of the cutter in conjunction with the reduction of the tool diameter.

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