1 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
One of the most common metal removal operation used in industry is the milling process. This machining process is well known since the beginning of last century and has experienced, along the years, many improvements of the basic technology, as concerns tools, machine tools, coolants/lubricants, milling strategies and controls. However, most of the times, the selection of the cutting parameters in order to achieve the best result on the manufactured part is still mostly an empirical process, based on the experience of engineers and technicians and very often the parameters first selected have to be adjusted afterwards. Nevertheless, many efforts have been done during the last 50 years in order to realize prediction tools for machining processes and particularly for conventional turning and milling operations. Most of these models aim at prediction of cutting forces tool wear and tool life. However, in the industrial world there is a continuous pressure to increase the efficiency of the machining operations in order to achieve tighter tolerances with lower reject rates; therefore models for prediction of surface texture and geometrical accuracy of the machined parts are also essential and many efforts have been addressed in this direction. Among all the machining operations, ball nose end milling has shown great potentials, particularly in machining of sculptured surfaces with high requirements in terms of surface finish; this is due to the good spatial agreement of the mill shape with the geometry of parts or details having variable curvature.