Machining is More Than Geometry

Tony Schmitz

Professor and ORNL Joint Faculty at University of Tennessee

Learning Objectives

Manufacturing technology for cost-effective part production is critical to the US economy. A key process for fabricating parts from nearly any material with high accuracy and surface integrity is machining, or material removal using a defined cutting edge. The introduction of computer numerical control (CNC) for machining centers enabled a digital approach, where the desired part is defined by a solid model using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The CNC commands to produce this part are then generated using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. While this is a key capability with continued advancements, the primary focus on geometry neglects key physical considerations that must be addressed for cost-effective and reliable manufacturing performance. This presentation will discuss these issues, including vibration during the machining process and its influence on part quality.

Key Takeaways:

  • CAD/CAM software enables parts to be produced in a digital environment

  • The primary focus is geometry. Other physical issues must be considered to enable cost-effective and reliable machining performance