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CIMATROM E9.0 Using NC-path Deformation for Compensating Tool Deflections

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in micromilling of hardened steel

D. Biermann a, E. Krebsa*, A. Sacharowa, P. Kerstinga

a

Institute of Machining Technology, TU Dortmund University, Germany

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 231/755-5820; fax: +49 231 755-5141.E-mail address: krebs@isf.de.

Abstract

During the micromachining of hardened materials, the low stiffness of the milling tool results in an increased tool deflection which

has a great influence on the shape and dimensional accuracy of the machined components. In order to compensate these deflections,

an optimization method is presented in this paper. Based on measured form errors of the machined workpieces, the NC programs

are optimized iteratively to reduce the shape deviations. To verify this method, experimental investigations were carried out by

milling pockets in hardened steel. The results show a significant reduction of the tool deflection after the optimization.

2012

2012 The Authors.

Published byPublished by Elsevier

Elsevier BV. B.V.and/or

Selection Selection and/or peer-review

peer-review under responsibility

under responsibility of Professor

of Prof. Dr. Konrad Wegener

Konrad Wegener

has a negative effect on the surface quality and tool life,

For the manufacturing of complex lightweight especially during the manufacturing of difficult to

components with integrated functional elements, the machine materials. In addition, the increased milling

sheet-bulk metal forming process, which combines the time based on a low chip removal rate leads to higher

advantages of sheet and bulk metal forming, gives the manufacturing costs.

opportunity to produce these parts economically. For this The manipulation of NC paths represents an

purpose, complex dies, which are usually made of alternative method. For simple manufacturing tasks, the

materials with a high hardness (e. g., high-speed steel shape correction can be realized directly at the machine

S6-5-2, 63 HRC), with small structures and functional control by an over-positioning of the tool. For

elements are required. Due to the hardness of the geometrically more complex parts, the use of a CAM

machined material, the precise manufacturing of these system is necessary. However, in most conventional

elements by micromilling is a challenge [1, 2]. In programs such correction functions are not offered.

previous studies, the machinability of steels with Therefore, a new CAD model and NC program have to

hardness above 60 HRC using commercially available be constructed. This can be very complicated and is

micro end-milling cutters was shown [3]. This is often not realizable without computer assistance [8].

remarkable since the milling tools consist of cemented In this article a practical solution to this problem is

carbide. However, the stiffness of the milling tools plays presented. In order to minimize the form errors, an

a decisive role since the tool deflections during the analysis and optimization approach is applied which

machining of hardened steel result in an over- or modifies NC programs by taking tool deflections into

undersize of the machined workpiece. This effect is not account and requires no reconstruction in CAD or CAM

negligible for a precise micromilling of these structures systems. The verification of the compensation approach

[4, 5]. is performed for pocket micromilling in hardened high-

A commonly used approach to reduce tool deflections speed steel S6-5-2.

is the adjustment of cutting parameters in order to

minimize the process forces [6]. However, in

micromachining a risk to achieve chip thicknesses

2212-8271 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Professor Konrad Wegener

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2012.04.022

D. Biermann et al. / Procedia CIRP 1 (2012) 132 137 133

two steps of the form-error compensation approach are

For the compensation of form errors, which can occur explained in more detail.

during the milling process due to tool deflections, an

approach is applied that deforms the original NC 2.1. Shape-deviation analysis

programs of the workpiece with respect to the

corresponding shape deviations [9]. In Fig. 1, a In general, registration methods are used for the

schematic diagram of the extended process chain is comparison of two 3D surfaces. The aim of registration

shown. The advantage of this procedure is is the adjustment of these shapes by minimizing a

implementation of the shape modifications without the specified error measure, e.g., maximal or least-squares

process of surface reconstruction, which may be very distance between the shapes. During this process one

time-consuming and costly for complex, free-form shape (data) is transformed in order to fit the other shape

geometries [8]. (model) in the best possible way. A well-known

The direct approach for form-error compensation registration method is ICP (Iterative Closest Point)

consists of two steps. The first one is the analysis of the [10, 11]. It adjusts the data into the model by calculating

workpiece deformations. At this stage, the measured a rigid transformation, which minimizes the least-

data is compared to the reference geometry as squares distance between the corresponding points. An

represented by the CAD model. The result of the important part of the registration procedure is the

analysis is a discrete deformation field describing the determination of the corresponding pairs. For every data

shape deviations of the manufactured workpiece (see point, a corresponding model point with the shortest

Fig. 2, left). In the second step, a continuous distance is computed by nearest-neighbor search. In case

deformation function is calculated with respect to the the model is represented as a point cloud, appropriate

determined deformation field. The NC programs for the search structures like kd-trees [12] are used for matching

milling process are modified using this deformation data points to model points. Since the model is given by

function. Afterwards, the new NC programs can be a mesh or a set of parametric surfaces, point projection

directly used for milling on the machine. This methods [10, 13] are used for finding the corresponding

compensation process can be iterated until the shape- points.

deviation measure e, e.g. maximal deviation with respect The advantage of rigid registration methods like ICP

to the deformation field, is within the range of tolerance is the efficiency and high applicability. Moreover, the

corresponding points establish a field of deformation

vectors and, thus, describe the shape deviation between

Regular process chain the data and the model. In case of strong deformations of

a the workpiece, however, the matching calculated by

CAD

point projection or nearest-neighbor search may be

error-prone and should thus not be used for the analysis

CAM Compensation of and compensation of the form errors. In this case, non-

the tool deflection rigid registration methods should be applied [14]. These

b methods allow slight deformations of data during the

Form error

Machine registration in order to obtain an accurate adjustment.

compensation

e>t 2.2. NC-path deformation

c

Measurement Analysis tool

The idea for compensating form errors, which are

e<t caused by deflections of the milling tool, is based on the

displacement of the original positions of the tool with

Machined workpiece respect to the shape deviations determined in the

analysis phase. For example, in case of an oversize, the

a Reference geometry (CAD model) positions of the milling tool should be displaced closer

b New NC program to the workpiece surface in order to remove more

c Measured data material. Biermann et al. [9] already presented an

e Shape-deviation measurement

approach for the manipulation of NC programs using a

t User-defined threshold

B-spline based free-form deformation. This method

allows slight shape modifications of a workpiece using a

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the new process chain direct displacement of the NC paths. For example,

134 D. Biermann et al. / Procedia CIRP 1 (2012) 132 137

forming tools in sheet metal forming have been modified in order to compensate the form errors caused by tool

in order to compensate the shape deviations caused by deflection, the tool positions can be directly displaced by

springback. This procedure can be applied for the the function F with respect to a set of deformation

compensation of form errors in micromilling caused by vectors. Using this approach, the NC programs with

tool deflections in the same manner. several thousands of points can be optimized in a few

A great challenge of this approach is to find a smooth minutes.

deformation function, which approximates the discrete

deformation field and can be used for adjusting the tool 3. Experimental setup

positions. Due to the noise in the measured data, it is

important to define a deformation function including In order to verify the presented approach, small

smoothing properties. A well-known technique, which pockets of dimensions 5 mm x 5 mm with a corner

can be used for this purpose, is a B-spline based free- radius of 1.5 mm were machined. In order to analyze the

form deformation [9, 15]. It pointwisely deforms the effect on the resulting shape deviation, the width of cut

space and all the 3D objects inside the space by applying ae was varied as follows. Experiment A is conducted

a continuous function F: 3 to all points of the using a width of cut ae = 200 m, experiment B

objects. The new position of an arbitrary point p is ae = 400 m, and experiment C ae = 600 m. Each

defined as a trivariate weighted sum of control points experiment was performed for three times. The

Pi,j,k: remaining cutting parameters are set according to

fundamental investigations of Biermann et al. [3]. Fig 3

l ,m,n gives an overview of the parameters.

p ' = F (u , v, w) = B (u) B (v) B (w) P

i , j , k =1

i j k i , j ,k (1)

basis functions defined on the parameter space and

(,,) are the local parameters of the point p [13].

The space deformation results from a displacement of

the control points, which are initially located on a

regular (lmn)-lattice (see Fig. 2). In order to

approximate a discrete vector field, the required

displacements of the control points can be calculated

using a least-squares method. Thereby, the quality of the

approximation depends on the number of control points.

In general, it is difficult to find a function F, which Fig. 3. Micro end mill cutter and picture of the process

fulfils defined precision requirements. In order to assure

a desired shape accuracy of the workpiece after These experiments were carried out on a CNC micro

deformation, an adaptive approach for the calculation of milling machine KERN HSPC 2522. To achieve high

a B-spline based free-form deformation was presented in cutting speeds, the spindle Precise SC 1060-OA, with an

[16]. operating range from 60,000 min-1 to 160,000 min-1, was

This technique can be used for pointwise deformation used. The machine manufacturer specifies a production

of 3D objects like meshes or even NC programs. Thus, accuracy of one micron.

The tools are cemented carbide end mill cutters with a

diameter of d = 1 mm. They have a long cutting edge

l2 = 8.5 mm. The radial run-out is specified as ro = 5 m.

Fig. 3 shows the tool geometry and a picture of the

process.

The workpiece material is a high-speed steel, S6-5-2

(1.3343), with a hardness of approx. 63 HRC. The tool

paths were programmed in the CAM system

CimatronE 9.0. The measurements were carried out on a

confocal white-light microscope (NanoFocus surf).

This equipment allows accurate measurements to be

achieved and to be saved as a point cloud, which can be

Fig. 2. Example for the deformation of data by displacing one control directly used for the analysis and compensation

point of a B-spline volume in 2D case procedure. The surface was measured with the horizontal

D. Biermann et al. / Procedia CIRP 1 (2012) 132 137 135

0.2 microns.

and C the length of the milled pockets is measured and

compared to the reference geometry, as shown in Fig. 4.

Therefore, three measurements were carried out in each

direction. The tool deflection is then deduced from the

shape deviation. The averaged values are shown in Fig.

5. The deflection for a tool with a diameter d = 1 mm is

unexpectedly high. In experiment C the maximum Fig. 4. Drawing of the shape deviation measurement

values are far beyond 100 microns. In the literature, the

typical deflection of 30 microns is indicated [4, 17]. In contrast to the measurement results, shown in

Furthermore, a progressivity of the tool deflection can Fig. 5, where only the length of the pockets was

be recognized in the graph for increasing width of cut ae. considered, the shape deviations used during the

Thereby, the gradient between 400 and 600 microns of compensation are based on the deformation field from

the width of cut is higher than between 200 and 400 the analysis step and include the whole measurement

microns. Thus, a linear behavior cannot be determined. data.

A possible reason for the increased gradient can be

found in the change of the engagement situation. When

the width of cut is higher than the tool radius, a varied

down- and up-milling is occurred in the process, which

changes the curve of the force. Overall, the influence of

the width of cut on the tool deflection is quite high.

Published investigation results show that the width of cut

has a rather low influence on the process forces [3]. This

will be analyzed in future works.

For the compensation of the tool deflection,

experiment B was selected with the knowledge that a

higher radial feed will still ensure the process reliability.

The deformation of the corresponding NC path is

computed based on the determined deviation between Fig. 5. Average tool deflections from the distance measurements

the measured data and the reference geometry. The

results after the first iteration step are shown in Fig. 6. It In general, the shape deviation can be reduced with

is a top view on the pocket shape in the used CAE each iteration step, but is limited by the precision of the

environment. To make it more obvious, the negative experimental procedure. In addition to inaccuracies in

shape of the measured pocket is depicted. The the milling process, which may arise through the

deformation field presents the distance between the outer machine (1 m) and the tool radial run-out (5 m),

points and the boundary (model). Despite noise in data measurement errors have to be taken into account. Due

and discretization errors, the deformed NC paths are to some surface defects during the milling process, the

smooth. measurement accuracy in the current experiments is

specified by six microns. An additional source of error is

the discretization of the measurement data. Due to the

large size of the dataset (4,915,089 data points), a data

reduction of 66 % was carried out to improve the

handling. So an additional inaccuracy of nine microns

has to be taken into account with respect to the

measurement resolution. Overall, in the presented

compensation process an accuracy of 21 microns can be

assumed. Thus, the range of tolerance t was set to 21

microns.

136 D. Biermann et al. / Procedia CIRP 1 (2012) 132 137

analysis tool and the form-error compensation were

carried out iteratively (see Fig. 1.). As the results show

in Fig. 7, the maximum distance e has a value of 17 Fig. 7. Shape deviation after the NC-path deformation

microns after two iterations, which is within the defined

tolerance range t. Accordingly, two iterations were The next step in this research field could be a further

sufficient. Due to the larger area of contact, the tool extension of the process chain. A milling simulation,

deflection is higher at the radii, so the value of the which is suitable for the computation of tool deflections

average distance increases compared to Fig 4. In during the micromachining process, would save costs

conclusion, both, the average and maximum distance and time in order to carry out the iteration steps of the

from the reference geometry were reduced significantly compensation approach virtually.

using the presented optimizing approach.

5. Conclusion Acknowledgements

In micromachining, deviations from the ideal This work was supported by the German Research

geometry cannot be avoided completely. An enormous Foundation (DFG) within the scope of the Transregional

tool deflection of about 100 microns was measured, Collaborative Research Centre on sheet-bulk metal

particularly, when using tools with a cantilever length to forming (SFB/TR73) in the subproject B2 and the

machine deep cavities in hardened steel. SFB708 in the subproject C4.

In order to compensate deflections of the milling tool

and to achieve a high shape accuracy, a new method was

presented in this paper. Based on measured data, the References

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