1) What is micromachining?

Micromachining is machining remarkably small components with a tool that has a diameter smaller than 0.015" and no more than a few-tenths tolerance. Micro tools can create very small, complex parts. It takes a specific machine with sufficient spindle speed and high-quality cutting tools to produce the consistency and strength to run at high speeds. Micro tools can be as small as 0.001" in diameter to achieve the high precision and intricate detail required.

2) Micromachining’s benefits

Micromachining allows reliable, repeatable production of small and intricate components with extremely tight tolerances. Micromachining is ideal for machining complex prototypes and components with micro features in ceramics, plastics, and metals. Applying high-quality micro tools to machines with high spindle speeds or Swiss-type lathes can create cleaner cuts, more precise dimensions, and tighter tolerances. Adding high-quality micro tools to your precision machining application provides the opportunity to produce more distinct components.

3) Micro drilling

Drilling holes smaller than 3mm in diameter requires an extremely sensitive machine with a precise spindle and very low runout. Precision tool holders, typically hand clamped to avoid positioning errors that can occur with an automatic tool change system, will benefit the accuracy of your micro drilling operations. Ultra-fine coolant channels through the body of these tools to the cutting edges allow optimal operating temperature. The tools’ aluminum titanium nitride coating counteracts wear and increases overall tool life. With drills of this size, it’s important to pay attention to wear indicators. Because of the low tool material volume, heat absorption is minimal. Therefore, the price for overloading the tool beyond its predetermined recommendations will be paid in total tool failure.

4) Trochoidal milling with micro tools

Trochoidal milling uses a circular, or trochoidal, tool path. The technique can increase tool life, reduce machining cycle times, and use fewer tools for a job. However, it is crucial to have a precision machine and optimal software capable of dynamic speeds and feeds to avoid critical tool failure. While micro tools can benefit from trochoidal milling, the risk of tool breakage must be carefully considered. Although trochoidal milling can increase your machining efficiency in many applications, it is vital the micro tool used is high quality.

5) Micro tools, macro demand

Demand for smaller and more intricate machined components increases as more industries transition to smaller, more complex components. Micromachining will become vitally important to a precision manufacturing company’s work. To meet this demand, Kyocera SGS Precision Tools has increased production of high-quality micro tools, expanding its line of more than 4,000 new micro tool items to keep up with growing industry demands.

Kyocera SGS Precision Tools Inc.