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.



Drilling “Invisible” Holes

By: Stephanie Hendrixson
UV laser micromachining makes it possible to drill holes that are not visible to the human eye—until they are meant to be seen, that is.

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.


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