Design and fabrication of a new micro ball-end mill with conical flank face

  • Zhiqiang Liang
  • Shidi Li
  • Tianfeng Zhou
  • Peng Gao
  • Dongdong Zhang
  • Xibin Wang


Micro ball-end milling is an efficient method for the fabrication of micro lens array molds. However, it is difficult to meet the machining quality of micro dimple molds due to the wear and breakage of the milling cutter, which presents large challenges for designing geometric structure and edge strength of micro ball-end mills. In this study, a new configuration of a micro ball-end mill for micro dimple milling is designed and named the micro conical surface ball-end mill. The cutting edge is formed by intersecting the conical surface and the inclined plane. A practical grinding method is proposed based on the kinematic principle of the six-axis computer numerical control (CNC) grinding machine for micro conical surface ball-end mills and is validated by grinding simulations and experiments. Micro dimple milling experiments are conducted on the hardened die steel H13 to investigate the cutting performance of the mill. The milling force, the micro dimple roundness error, and the tool wear morphology are observed and analyzed. The results show that the radial milling force is more stable and the wear resistance is improved for the micro conical surface ball-end mill compared to the traditional micro spiral blade ball-end mill. Therefore, a more stable roundness at the entrance hole of the micro dimple can be obtained by using this design after a number of micro dimples have been milled.


Tool design Micro ball-end mill Tool fabrication Cutting performance 


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Funding information

This work is supported by National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2015CB059900), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51575049) and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) Foundation for Fundamental Research (No. 20150342013).


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© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Fundamental Science for Advanced MachiningBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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