Process Zones

Micromachining

So what’s micromachining? Everyone has a different definition, but a common view is machining with tools smaller than 0.015 inch in diameter and tolerances of just a few tenths. It takes significant spindle speed to effectively use such small-diameter tools, and the machines have to be very accurate. One of the biggest challenges of micromachining is finding cutting tools that offer the long life and repeatability that enables a machine tool to run at high rpms.

Featured Zone Content

A Big-Picture View of Micromachining


 Matrix Tooling makes injection molds for components that have features you cannot see.

Ask the Expert: Micromachining


Initiate a dialogue with some of the industry's most respected experts. Ask John Bradford a question related to micromachining.

How Micromachining Patience Speeds Prototype Production


A molder of tiny, silicone components for the medical industry explains how a patient, conservative approach to micromachining enables it to deliver prototypes faster.

Micromachining Powder Metal on a VMC


By refining its micromachining process for powder metal tool steels, this shop has reduced production costs, lead times and secondary bench work for complex tooling components.



Manufacturing Efficiently at a Micron Level

By: Chris Koepfer
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.

micro part balanced on pencil with ruler for perspective

Backing Tech with Technique

By: Matt Danford
Whether in machining or any other pursuit, knowledge and the right touch are critical to taking full advantage of technology and equipment.

Micromachining in a Big Way

By: Russ Willcutt
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.

Microfluidics industry R&D applications have called for milling channels with extremely smooth finishes into plastic or, as seen here, titanium plates. The channel here measures 0.006 inch and requires a 0.2 µm surface finish.

Machine “Power Users” Push Limits of Precision

By: Matt Danford
For this shop, moving into micron-tolerance work required not just a new machining center, but also a willingness to understand technical features and techniques that never come into play for many programmers and operators.

cable connector

Micron-Tolerance Machining Means Never Looking Back

By: Matt Danford
Different tools and machining strategies have driven this shop to seek new efficiencies beyond its most demanding work and most capable machining center.


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