Dynamic Answer to Tool Breakage

Douglas Fluid & Integration Technology, LLC is a small four-person company that makes bench-ready devices and components that help energy market researchers bring their concepts to the testing stage faster. When the company started doing its own milling, it purchased a user-friendly CAM software package that allowed Douglas to create basic machining programs semi-automatically, with very little programmer intervention required.

One day Chief Technologist Richard Douglas began making some nuclear components that required aggressive roughing operations on stainless steel. He couldn’t even begin to manufacture the part because every time the tool entered the material, it broke. Tool breakage became a big issue because a broken tool would immediately cost $30 to several hundred dollars, damage the part, and result in the loss of precious manufacturing time during each instance. (R&D customers don’t like to be kept waiting.)

This led Douglas to purchase a seat of Mastercam Mill Level 1. Barefoot CNC, the local Mastercam Reseller, installed it and provided training. Since then, James Wakeford, Barefoot’s owner, has consulted on projects that require machining finesse. Today, Douglas makes extensive use of Dynamic Milling toolpaths to rough out these and similar parts without breaking tools.

Dynamic Milling is a machining strategy that relies on a sophisticated algorithm that continuously monitors the condition of the material at every stage, automatically adjusting feeds and speeds to deliver optimal cutting performance without the user having to make time-consuming micro adjustments throughout the CNC program.

The Dynamic Milling toolpaths use the full flute of the tool at high speeds with minimal step-overs for fast material removal. At the same time, the self-aware algorithm is avoiding tool burial, minimizing heat build-up, and providing better chip evacuation. Today, Douglas can make 12 of these parts in succession on the same tool without breaking it. Tool breakage is no longer an impediment to delivery of an R&D solution, even when Douglas must work with extremely hard exotic materials.

You can watch Mastercam X7 Dynamic Milling in action below.

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