Micro Manufacturing Conference & Exhibits
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Conference Schedule

View Schedule for Day Two: Thursday, March 29 | View NanoManufacturing Conference Schedule

View Sessions: Micro Machining | Micro Molding | Micro Emerging Technologies and Applications | Micro Metrology

Day One: Wednesday, March 28

A new way to look at the conference schedule.
In addition to complete descriptions, here you will find the "CHALLENGES" each presentations addresses along with "NEW" technologies and/or processes included.

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration/Check-in

 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
KEYNOTE

 

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Break/Technology Highlights Theater

 

MICRO MACHINING

 

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Effect of Coating Properties and Cutting Edge Geometry on Micro End Milling
Frank Pfefferkorn, University of Wisconsin-Madison

NEW: The influence of cutting edge radius and process forces on the maximum stresses in the tool and the onset of fracture will be presented.

CHALLENGES: How to prevent cutting tip fracture in micro end milling by understanding the influence of cutting edge radius and process forces.

DESCRIPTION: Micro end milling is currently used in industry and its application is growing. The cutting forces that a tool can withstand without bending, failing, or severely limiting tool life have a strong influence on material removal rate, hence productivity. Diamond coatings are one method that have shown the ability to reduce cutting forces, hence offer the ability to increase productivity. However, experiments have shown that these reduced forces do not necessarily result in prolonged tool life. This presentation will show very recent results from machining experiments and mechanics modeling that indicate the strong interaction of cutting forces and cutting edge radius. The benefit of increasing the cutting edge radius when using coatings that produce reduced forces is presented and discussed.

How a nanocrystalline diamond coating and the cutting edge radius affect micro end milling of aluminum with results for 300 micron diameter end mills will be presented. The low friction coefficient and adhesion of diamond result in significantly lower cutting forces during micro end milling. These force reductions are due to reduced friction in the tool-chip contact area (i.e., chip formation) and reduced adhesion of material in the flutes (i.e., chip evacuation). The benefits of the coating are only good as long as the cutting edge stays intact. The coating thickness and cutting edge radius will strongly influence the onset of cutting edge failure. The reasons will be discussed and implications for smaller end mills will be discussed.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Multi-Material Micro Machining of Ultra-High Aspect Ratio Features
Murali Meenakshi Sundaram, University of Cincinnati

NEW: New process for high aspect ratio metallic micromachining, high speed micro abrasive machining

CHALLENGES: Understanding options available for the micromachining of wide range of engineering materials.

DESCRIPTION: The electrochemical micromachining of very high aspect ratio micro structures will be presented. Tungstun micro tools having diameters as small as 10 micrometer and below with an aspect ratio over 450 will be presented as case study. Several existing and potential applications of these micro components ranging from tooling in micromanufacturing to minimal invasive probes in biomedical industry will be discussed. Proposed method will be compared and contrasted with other existing technologies.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Group Lunch on the Show Floor

 

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
How to Master Micron Accuracy in LED Production
Gisbert Levon, AgieCharmilles

NEW: New cutting tool measuring technology for micro cutting tools in HSM applications and in process quality control devices on EDM machines

CHALLENGES: Accuracy throughout the entire process chain of building miniature molds for the LED industry using new cutting tool measuring for HSM and in process quality on EDM.

DESCRIPTION: How a production problem lead a machine tool builder to optimize the technology and process chain, providing accuracies never achieved before in a high volume production environment will be presented. A case study will show the use of multiple processes (HSM, EDM, on-machine optical measurement) to consistently produce millions of accurate LED components. First a micro milling process was used to create EDM electrodes within 2 microns accuracy. This process included an on-machine optical measuring system integrated with software that removed fluids, chips, etc. to digitally measure the exact size of the tool. EDM was then used to create the components within 2 microns.

2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Precision Electrolytic Machining
Don Risko, PEMTechnologies

NEW: Precision Electrolytic Machining technology and capabilities

CHALLENGES: Micro machining of metal parts in production volumes without burrs eliminating post processes such as polishing and deburring.

DESCRIPTION: Precision Electrolytic Machining (PEM) is a major advancement in the electrochemical machining method of metal removal that uses synchronized electrical and mechanical pulsing. The process is capable of machining features to tolerances in the range of ±10 microns at rates that are ten to twenty times faster than EDM. Since the metal removal mechanism is electrolytic dissolution of surface atoms on the workpiece, there is no heat affected zone as with EDM or laser, or machining marks on the surface as encountered with milling or grinding. Therefore, there are no surface stresses and the resultant surface finish is excellent. Additionally, there are no burrs generated. These characteristics, along with attributes such as no tool wear (the tool never touches the workpiece) and simultaneous multiple part machining, result in a cost effective process for a range of applications. The presentation will include a description of the process; the equipment; tooling methods; and a broad range of examples that will give the attendee an understanding of what the PEM process can and cannot accomplish.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Bench-Top Laser Tool for Precisions Micro Machining
Andrew Webb, Optek Systems

NEW: A new cost effective bench-top laser micromachining tool

CHALLENGES: Applications developed for solar, micro-electronics and sensors using a small laser machining tool

DESCRIPTION: Precision material processing with lasers is widely employed for manufacturing components that cannot be achieved using traditional machining techniques. Reasons for this include the nature of materials to be processed and miniature feature sizes. Until recently, the required investment for such capability could be described as significant and potentially prohibitive. However, with the advent of new laser technologies and improved material handling, a cost effective bench-top laser micromachining tool can be used. This presentation reviews the enabling technologies and through case studies, introduces applications developed on this tool for solar cell, micro-electronics and sensors. Reasonable initial investment combined with improved performance means precision laser processing in a variety of materials is now a viable proposition for much wider use.

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Application-Specific Customizable Architecture of Neural Interfaces
Rohit Sharma, University of Utah

NEW: Design and fabrication of neural interfaces devices using dicing saws and wire-EDM.

CHALLENGES: Design and fabrication of advanced neural interfaces capable of communicating with individual neurons for closed-loop prosthetics control and new therapeutic applications, implementation of novel array geometries on demand, and some invitro and invivo applications.

DESCRIPTION: The demand to develop custom-designed, application-specific neural interfaces is increasing rapidly with the recent progress in the neuroscience. Advanced neural interfaces capable of communicating with individual neurons may be most desirable for the closed-loop prosthetics control and new therapeutic applications. Emerging neuroscience research would benefit from an ability to implement novel array geometries on demand, to match the neural anatomy being studied. New techniques have been developed to build high aspect ratio Utah neural interface 10×10 arrays with electrodes up to 10 mm long with a 4mm2 footprint and also new high-density 20×20 arrays with 4mm2 footprint. The new techniques allow electrode and the array dimensions to be customized to the intended application. The current high aspect ratio arrays were used to record from the hippocampal area of rats and the high-density arrays are designed to record and stimulate

MICRO MOLDING


10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Micro Molding Needles and Drug Arrays
Donna Bibber, Micro Engineering Solutions

NEW: Micro molding micro tool design validation strategy

CHALLENGES: Stainless steel needles can be ground to a sharp point, however polymer micro injection molded needles can provide 3 dimensional geometry with less pain to the patient.

DESCRIPTION: Disposable micro molded needles are necessary for use in vaccinating the world with an environmentally viable and economical solution. Creating sharp points in laminar flow polymers in an injection mold is challenging but possible with ultra precise tooling and molding conditions. State of the art tooling methods coupled with extreme process control enable micro injection molded needles and many other microscopic geometry, components, and assemblies.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Five Things You Need to Push the Limits in Micro Molding
Chip Leri, Accumold

NEW: Two-shot, micro-optics, lead frame, insert molding and overmolding are just a few innovations possible with this micro technology.

CHALLENGE: Through discussion of real-world application, achieving fantastic results with micro molding will be demonstrated.

DESCRIPTION: In today's world of product development, designers are constantly challenged to meet the harsh demands of smaller, tighter tolerances, thin-wall sections and micro features. Micro-Molding in many instances has become the solution to this problem by enabling part design to reach beyond what was once thought impossible with plastic injection molding. In this presentation we will explore the five key areas every company should understand when approaching a micro-mold part design to help make their project a success.

  • Material Selection: Beyond The Data Sheet
  • Picking your material: Mechanical Properties vs. Process Performance
  • Understanding what the data sheet tells you
  • Wonderfully unexpected results
  • Prototyping: The Challenges in Development
  • How does your prototype need to function?
  • What prototyping options are there?
  • What does the prototype teach you?
  • Beyond the Part: Metrology, Handling, & Packaging
  • Okay, you've made a small part, now what?
  • Options: In-Line Inspection, Cleanroom Molding, Tape-N-Reel…etc.
  • I didn't know you could do that--An exploration of the "impossible."


Through case studies on prototyping, material selection and feature performance we will demonstrate what considerations need to be addressed when approaching micro molded part design.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Group Lunch on the Show Floor

 

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Microshot Molding of Powder Injection Materials
John Ward, Arburg

NEW: Ceramic parts for technical applications such as insulators for ignition electrodes can now be used produced using injection molding.

CHALLENGES: Parts with internal threads, difficult undercuts and high surface quality can be manufactured on injection molding machines simply, reliably and with a high degree of automation.

DESCRIPTION: Powder injection molding technology (PIM) is increasingly employed for the high-volume production of complex, high-precision components for industrial or consumer use. Case studies of micro precision parts produced on standard 'small' injection units compared to the same parts produced on the micro module designed specifically for part production with a total shot volume of 1.0 ccm or less will be presented. Application examples such as ferrules used for connecting fiber optic bundles for data transmission. The precision of these parts is crucial to the coupling of fiber optical cables.

2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Micro Molding in Medical Devices
Patrick Kavanaugh, SMC

NEW: The most up-to-date information on how micro molding can be incorporated into a finished medical device.

CHALLENGES: When to use micro molding, component validation, material selection, final assembly

DESCRIPTION: Bringing medical devices to the patient instead of the patient to the care-center, brings added focus to reducing the size of the components within the device. A case study on how an OEM decided to incorporate a micro component into a finished device. What decisions were made for manufacturing, material selection, assembly, and of course validation will be discussed. Understanding how all the items work together in a device so the device can be designed around best practices utilizing the technologies available today will be pesented.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Microstructured Extrusion Tooling Enables High Performance Microstructured Products
Andrew Cannon, Hoowaki

NEW: Technical details of micro extrusion tools including design, fabrication, implementation, quality control, and lifetime of tools.

CHALLENGES: Products extruded using micro extrusion tools have properties and performance that cannot be achieved with other technologies.

DESCRIPTION: Micro-manufactured tooling that is used to make high volume extruded tubing, cable, and wire will be presented. The products extruded from these tools are in commercial use. Details of the design, fabrication, implementation, quality control, and lifetime of these tools will be discussed. The extruded products have properties that cannot be achieved with other technologies, creating significant value for the customer. These properties include coefficient of friction, liquid repellancy. and tactile feel. Several case studies of how tools are being used in commercial high-volume processes will be included.

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Polymer-Tooling Compatibility for Injection Molding of Microstructured Surfaces
Carol Barry, University of Massachusetts Lowell

NEW: Process for determining compatible materials for varying polymer

CHALLENGES: Determining compatible tooling materials

DESCRIPTION: Injection molding of parts with micro and nanoscale features has grown due to advent of tooling inserts which are inherently robust enough to withstand the high temperature and pressure cycles of the injection molding process. Along with the advent of tooling, researchers have begun to develop a fundamental understanding of how the tooling itself will interact with the polymer material, an issue which becomes more pronounced at finer scales and with different tooling compositions. The objective of this work was to develop a process for determining compatible tooling materials for varying polymer systems based on tooling surface hardness and roughness characteristics, wetting properties, and varying heat transfer rates.



MICRO EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND APPLICATIONS


10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Recent Advances in Micro Manufacturing
Jun Ni, University of Michigan

NEW: Micro semi-solid forming, micro hydroforming, micro hot-compaction, micro stamping

CHALLENGE: Improved formability, rapid fabrication of micro features

Recent development in micro/meso-scale manufacturing processes will be highlighted in this discussion, including semi-solid forming of bulk materials with micro surface features, hydroforming of micro-channels on stainless steel sheets, hot-compaction of micro metallic powders for porous micro structures, elastic die forming of complex micro-channels for metallic bipolar plates for fuel cell applications, and micro electro-chemical-discharge mechanical machining processes for non-conductive brittle materials.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Microforming Processes and Innovations
Brad Kinsey, University of New Hampshire

NEW: Forming components with electromagnetic and electrical-assisted forming

CHALLENGES: Producing microformed components that are dimensionally accurate and cost effective with electromagnetic and electrical-assisted forming

DESCRIPTION: Various manufacturing processes exist to produce components at the microscale. For example, integrated circuit techniques, e.g. LIGA, are used. However, these methods only create 2D or 2.5D geometries; require expensive clean room space and processes for production; and are relatively slow. Various manufacturing processes exist to produce components at the microscale. For example, integrated circuit techniques, e.g. LIGA, are used. However, these methods only create 2D or 2.5D geometries; require expensive clean room space and processes for production; and are relatively slow. Alternatively, subtraction processes, such as micromachining, microEDM, and chemical machining, are used. These have the advantage of achieving 3D features; however, material utilization is inefficient, and environmental concerns exist in the case of chemical machining. As at the macroscale, microforming is a low cost and effective process due to the fast cycle rates and high material utilization. In this presentation, results from past research by national and international experts in microforming will be presented. Topics will include size effects, i.e. changes in material and process parameter behaviors which occur due to miniaturization, and process innovations, e.g., electromagnetic and electrical-assisted forming. Furthermore, the industrial potential of microforming will be discussed through examples and/or case studies.

As at the macroscale, microforming is a low cost and effective process due to the fast cycle rates and high material utilization. Several components of interest at the microscale lend themselves to microforming, e.g. microscale connector pins for the electronics industry; screws and needles for the biomedical industry; and bi-polar plates for fuel cells. However, due to size effects, the processes cannot simply be miniaturized to create components.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Group Lunch on the Show Floor

 

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Arrayed Microchannel Manufacturing: Case Studies and Opportunities
Brian Paul, Oregon State University

NEW: Technology that can be cost competitive with existing heat exchange and chemical reactor technologies leading to a host of emerging commercial applications

CHALLENGES: Microchannel process technology has great potential for reducing the size and weight for a host of chemical and thermal system components currently sold in mass markets.

DESCRIPTION: Microchannel process technology (MPT) has great potential for reducing the size and weight for a host of chemical and thermal system components currently sold in mass markets. In the past, cost barriers have prevented acceptance of this technology into the marketplace. Recent cost studies show this technology can be cost competitive with existing heat exchange and chemical reactor technologies leading to a host of emerging applications. This presentation will focus on emerging applications in MPT with near-term opportunities for commercialization. Focus will be on case studies and opportunities to take microchannel process technology forward into the marketplace.

2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Flex Manufacture of Microfluidic Devices
Leanna Levine, ALine

NEW: Flex platform that addresses rapid prototyping for proof of concept as well as the need for cost effective robust processes for pilot scale and product launch before volumes reach >1MM units/year.

CHALLENGES: Complex microfluidic disposable that has a price point compatible with reimbursement schedules for diagnostic tests.

DESCRIPTION: Robust and scalable processes for the production of functional components, such as valves and pumps, which are often integral to microfluidic devices will drive down their cost and improve their performance. A modular and readily customized flexible manufacturing process for routine production of complex microfluidic devices for point of care and sample-to-answer applications has been developed. The process uses laser cutting and lamination of films to create feature sizes down to125 microns in x-y and 12.5 microns in z. A test design that meters, mixes and pumps fluid reproducibly using our modular, flex fabrication approach will be presented.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Micro Laser Sintering for Series Production of Micro Parts
Joachim Goebner, EOS

NEW: New additive technology to create micron size parts with metals. Parts have been manufactured using layer thickness of 2 micron and 4 micron.

CHALLENGES: Overcome micro manufacturing limits, reduce manufacturing cost of micro parts, serve trends to customization, functional integration and miniaturization — all in one

DESCRIPTION: In manufacturing, three of the most important current and future trends are customization, functional integration and miniaturization. Micro laser sintering (MLS) technology offers all of these and enables the manufacturing of micro metal parts with unprecedented flexibility. It offers the freedom of design typical for additive layer manufacturing technologies for a detail resolution of ~ 60 µm. Stainless steel parts built on a test machine demonstrate the ability to build thin walls with high aspect ratio, complex cavities and highly detailed micro mechanical components. Micro laser sintering is a technology suitable for meeting the rising demand in complex customized micro

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Metallurgical Solutions for MicroManufacturing
Edward Smith, Deringer Ney

NEW: Introducing new electrical connection technology for implantable neurological stimulation therapies - material to accommodate the severe forming and electrical power requirements

CHALLENGES: Improved electrical performance under extreme environmental conditions with new material.

DESCRIPTION: As feature sizes on IC continue to shrink and test probes must follow and yet test parameters often require increased current levels. Current probes are at 50 microns with leading edge companies heading toward 25 microns, often requiring intricate tip geometries.

As the size of electrical connection devices continue to decrease in size, material selection becomes increasing difficult. Smaller cross sections demand higher strength levels, but the very small geometries also require tight radius bends. The small cross sections also produce the need to carry higher current densities, thereby creating higher service temperatures and concerns about oxidation and stress relaxation. This paper will explore the advantages offered by a family of heat treatable palladium based alloys ideally suited for these applications. These alloys can be stamped and formed in a soft, easily formable temper and then heated afterwards to achieve the strength needed for the final application. Being palladium based, they alloys show excellent tarnish and oxidation resistance, an increasingly important factor in components of extremely small dimensions. The metallurgical reactions that increase the alloy strength during aging also act to increase the electrical conductivity and improve the stress relaxation performance. Examples will be provided showing how these alloy characteristics have been engineered to help the current generation of IC contact probes meet the demands associated over increasing I/O counts and diameters approaching 25 microns. Similar design challenges will also be discussed for the electrical connections needed for the next generation of implantable pacing devices with diameters of approximately 1200 microns and I/O counts of 16 or more.

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibits Reception

 

Day Two: Thursday, March 29


MICRO METROLOGY



9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Relevant, Accurate Surface Measurements of Micro-Scale Components
Erik Novak, Bruker

NEW: Processes by which relevant parameters may be identified and key analyses which have been shown to be important at the micro-scale. Several case studies comparing metrology across different platforms will be presented.

CHALLENGES: Comparing technologies for surface measurement including various 3D microscopes, SEM, AFM, and stylus. Ways to confirm system accuracies and capabilities from both a hardware and software standpoint will be explored as well.

DESCRIPTION: One the challenges in microscale manufacturing that are consistently highlighted by the industry is adequate metrology of micro-scale components. Variations in surface roughness, defect rates, dimension and form which are acceptable for large-scale components can have significant impact on the function and lifetime of small parts. There are many techniques available for surface characterization. Ensuring that the right metrics are chosen for process control, and that the measurement technology provides repeatable, accurate results to maintain that process, is critical for achieving sufficient yield for commercial viability.

Several technologies for surface measurement including various 3D microscopes, SEM, AFM, and stylus will be compared. Processes by which relevant parameters may be identified and key analyses which have been shown to be important at the micro-scale will be discussed. Ways to confirm system accuracies and capabilities from both a hardware and software standpoint will be explored as well. Several case studies comparing metrology across different platforms will be presented.

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Applications of Microscopy in Micro and NanoManufacturing
Michelle Cavaliere, MVA Scientific Conusltants

NEW: Highlights of microscopical analysis of current micro and nanomanufacturing projects

CHALLENGES: Complete analysis/problem solving by complementary microscopy techniques.

DESCRIPTION: Microscopy is increasingly being applied to several key areas of manufacturing including research and development, quality control, failure analysis, and patent infringement to name a few. Analyses can range from determination of size distribution and chemical composition of nanoparticles for product certification to microstructural characterization or contaminant identification for quality control/failure analyses. Typically, there is not a "one size fits all" method for approaching these complex analyses and a combination of microscopical techniques is often the best solution. In this presentation, several case studies will be discussed illustrating the benefit of a complementary approach to micro and nanomanufacturing issues. Topics covered will include characterization of nanodiamond compounds, examination of carbon nanotube sporting goods, cutting insert coating analysis, identification of circuit board contamination, and others.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
The Future is Optical Inspection and Measurement
Steve, Chirichella, Keyence

NEW: Combination of lighting, optics, imaging/pixel processing, and software algorithms

CHALLENGES: Reduce time, cost, and errors associated with product inspection

DESCRIPTION: Developments in technologies such as lighting, optics, imaging, and software which all play an integral part in today's inspection equipment will be presented. Principles behind each of these technologies and how they are applied to create high tech measuring systems will be discussed. A practical demonstration with one of the newest optical measurement systems to combine all the technology discussed will be provided using products from many different industries. This will also include case studies and examples of the impact a system like this can have on production, quality, and profitability. The current direction and future of optical inspection systems will also be discussed.

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3D Cross-Sectional Scanning Technology
Craig Crump, CGI

NEW: Technology has been redesigned to scan micro-molded parts with wall features in the neighborhood of 0.005" thick. This technology can 3D scan the small injection molded parts that many micro molders are now producing and, this 3D scanning can now be done on lightweight desktops systems.

CHALLENGES: Diagnose molding problems in small, complex molded parts, that have internal features

DESCRIPTION: 3D Cross-sectional scanning technology produces an accurate 3D computer image from small and complex injection molded parts. This type of 3D scanning captures both internal and external surface data, completely and accurately. Proprietary technology generates multiple and sequential cross-sections of encased plastic parts. Digital pictures of each ultra-thin cross-section are taken and translated, layer-by-layer, into three-dimensional computer representations of the physical parts. This unique 3D scanning technology is often perceived as "reverse rapid prototyping." The CGI 3D scanning technology can be used for inspection or reverse engineering of very small

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Group Lunch on the Show Floor

 

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Technology Highlights Theater

 

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Micro Machining Technologies and 3D Metrology Solutions
John Bradford, Makino

NEW: In-process non contact white light scanning metrology

CHALLENGES: Solutions to pre-plan the micromachining process by incorporating pre-process and in-process 3D measurement, and how to incorporate the measured results to increase accuracy, and throughput efficiency

DESCRIPTION: The state of the art in micromachining technologies and the vital supporting role of 3D metrology at the submicron level will be presented. The interaction between the micromachining technologies in both 2D and 3D, and that of a novel scanning metrology technology as it is employed in an actual manufacturing environment will be discussed.

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Low Energy Non-Contact Electrical Discharge Measurement System on a Micro-Machining Platform
Jerry Mraz, SmalTec

NEW: The development of an on-board micro-electrical discharge circuit, at pico-Joule energy levels, to act as an automated micro-metrology system will be presented. This metrology process is non-contact and non-destructive as well as having access to the traditional micro-electrical discharge machining (µEDM) capabilities. By using the abilities of the µEDM process, various sensor probes can be manufactured on-line to measure any machined forms. Due to the non-contact, non destructive nature of the process, combined with the double V-groove mandrel holder of the platform, each manufactured sensor probe can be removed from the platform and later returned to the platform for additional measuring with little necessary positional calibration.

CHALLENGES: Measuring parts on the same platform as it is machined

DESCRIPTION: In this study, sensors of various geometries (ball-end, cylinder, and conical) were used to find the optimal parameters for dimensional measuring on various materials. Each of these sensors was formed on the µEDM system. Various energy levels, feed rates, detection sensitivities, and detection speeds were tested, as well as two dielectrics (standard µEDM fluid and air). Four materials basic to the micro-machining industry (stainless steel, molybdenum, gold, and platinum) were used for the tests. The testing was done with a focus on two fundamental aspects; repeatability/reliability and surface deformation. It was determined that with specific probe geometries and feed rates each material could be repeatedly measured (1000x) with standard deviations as low as 0.0001mm (100nm). This testing was accomplished in a real world environment, using general µEDM dielectric fluid and with no additional cleaning processes between trials of either the sensor probe or the test material.

3:30 p.m.
Conference Concludes