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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Top Features

Say you own a small mold shop and quoted a job for a medical customer looking to produce implantable microclips for blood vessel repair. The job requires a number of eight-cavity molds—enough work to keep your sinker EDMs busy for weeks. Just then, your sales rep walks in with the bad news: a startup shop down the street quoted the job for half of what you did by hard milling the mold cavities, circumventing EDMing altogether.

Like other facets of machining, the effectiveness of metalworking fluids and application methods changes at the microscale. Flood coolant, high-pressure coolant and cryogenic cooling—all effective when macromachining—are not viable in the micro realm. The impact force of a cutting fluid delivered at high pressure, for example, could cause a microtool to deflect or suffer damage.

Feb. 3, 2011—To satisfy the requirements for micromachining applications, spindle manufacturers continue to develop products that are faster and more compact, accurate, powerful and thermally stable.

Turning microparts can be difficult work. Not only are tolerances and finish requirements generally tighter and finer for parts with ¼" and smaller diameters, secondary operations are often required for medical and aerospace parts. In addition to turning, this raises concerns about how to hold, mill, cross-drill, deburr and inspect the parts. Even finding the parts in the chip tray after cutoff can be a challenge.

Editor's Note: Drilling a 0.003" hole is no small task. Virtual Industries Inc., a manufacturer of vacuum systems, discovered this when it needed vacuum tweezer tips capable of handling parts as small as 100?m. Based on experience with larger tips, the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company knew local machine shops would no-bid such a small tip, so it turned to its subsidiary, Prime Axis Manufacturing LLC, also in Colorado Springs. In the following, the author explains, step by step, how Prime Axis solved the problem.

Top Videos

May 5, 2011—NanoMech, Springdale, Ark., offers nano innovations in machining and manufacturing, lubrication and energy, packaging for the fresh produce supply chain, biomedical implant coatings and strategic military applications.

Top Products

GenSwiss has launched a line of high-pressure (up to 10,000 psi) coolant-through toolholders for Swiss-type machines. The “Coolant Thru” line features through-the-shank coolant delivery, which, according to GenSwiss, provides optimal insert lubrication, lengthens tool life and improves tool performance.

Welding-equipment manufacturer Miyachi Unitek Corp.has introduced a versatile series of tabletop hot-bar reflow soldering systems for reflow soldering, heat-seal and/or ACF bonding, hot-bar bonding and heat-staking applications.

Rush Machinery Inc.’s newly designed filtration system, the FC-300, can integrate with most grinding, lapping and honing machines to provide continuous filtration, automatic back flush and clean fluid on demand.

Genevieve Swiss Industries Inc., Westfield, Mass., recently introduced its "Swiss Silver" cutting oils designed for greater lubricity, faster heat dissipation, improved part finish and longer tool life for Swiss-type machining, according to a company news release.

Miyano Machinery USA Inc.recently introduced its GN-3200 Ultra-Precision Turning Center, designed for high-precision hard turning of small components that are traditionally finished on a grinding machine. The company's GN Series machines are primarily intended for second operation finishing work adn hard turning of treated components.