Max Out Cutting Tool Utilization with Micro Milling Inserts

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Don’t be fooled by their size. Nano- and micro-size end mills and drills made from solid-carbide rod have opened the door for better utilization of small inserts used to produce miniature parts and compact components.


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Consider how many times you’ve seen someone take 0.100" or less with a tool/insert that’s capable of much more. Bottom line: The most popular 90-degree indexable insert sizes are capable of approximately a ½" depth of cut. If you’re consistently using 0.100" of 0.500", you’re underutilizing roughly 80 percent of what you paid for.

Iscar has recently introduced nano- and micro-size indexable inserts and can now produce a 0.312" diameter, with two flutes, capable of taking a 1/8" depth of cut.

Spindle output characteristics, such as horsepower, torque and speed, are important aspects for optimizing cutting tool utilization, Iscar says. It is not uncommon for stations to perform 10,000 rpm and upwards of 5 horsepower in a short time period, and although the capability of rotary/driven spindles continues to improve, most will be better suited for utilizing smaller-diameter cutting tools. It is also important to note that the part features typically machined in this environment are relatively small…READ MORE.