User Case

Validation of physics-based tool wear models

OR: Empowering engineers to understand and control tool wear

Tool wear prediction using material physics-based modeling is one of the goals of Third Wave Systems (TWS). The research and development team at TWS is implementing tool wear models into their physics-based machining modeling software to empower their customers to understand and control tool wear and create better quality machined parts. In this effort, the InfiniteFocus G5 universal optical 3D measuring instrument from Bruker Alicona is used to validate tool wear.

"The accuracy and ease-of-use of InfiniteFocus and tool wear analysis module have enabled us to rapidly test and validate our tool wear modeling capability in a way that was nearly impossible before."

Tyler Roth, Lead R&D Engineer at Third Wave Systems

Validated modeling technology

Third Wave Systems is a Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) provider for companies that machine. Their modeling products and services are used by progressive companies to reduce costs of machined components, accelerate design cycles, improve part quality, and get to market faster. “TWS’ experimentally validated material modeling technology, coupled with advanced Explicit-Dynamic Finite Element Analysis (FEA), gives engineers and other users vastly more information than trial-and-error testing alone; enabling these engineers to make better decisions”, says Tyler Roth, Lead R&D Engineer at TWS. By using an InfiniteFocus G5 universal optical 3D measuring instrument from Bruker Alicona, TWS is not only extending their validation capability, but they also empower the development and validation of better, more accurate models to bring more value to TWS’ customers.

InfiniteFocusG5 is a highly accurate, fast and flexible optical 3D measurement system, combining a 3D micro coordinate measurement machine and a surface roughness measurement device. The range of measurable surfaces is almost unlimited. With only one multifunctional sensor users achieve traceable measurement results with high repeatability and a vertical resolution of up to 10nm.

Tyler Roth: “Our projects require detailed modeling of cutting tool geometries. After having used more basic microscopes to collect the data or having worked with outside vendors to get the information needed, we wanted to bring this expertise inhouse. We were looking for a system that would give us a much better accuracy and that was capable of providing the level of details we needed to support our engineering needs.”


The Bruker Alicona InfiniteFocus G5 is used by TWS to scan tool to import into their FEA software for analysis and measure worn tools to validate their physics-based tool wear models. © Third Wave Systems

FEA Simulation fuses material, temperature, and stress information to predict tool wear

As TWS’ flagship technology, AdvantEdge™ is a CAE product for modeling material removal processes. The experimentally validated material modeling technology, coupled with advanced FEA, gives engineers access to more information than trial-and-error testing, enables them to make better decisions.

Example results from TWS’ AdvantEdge FEA software showing chip formation and temperature during a milling process. The FEA technology provides insight into temperature, stress, and material behavior that cannot be obtained through trial-and-error testing © Third Wave Systems

Quick and accurate measurements enable model validation

“Tool wear is an unavoidable reality of any machining process that must be understood and controlled. It significantly affects the quality of the machined workpiece due to the higher temperatures and stresses that a worn tool imposes into the machined surface,” says Tyler Roth. TWS is developing models that account for process physics to accurately predict tool wear. This will allow customers to innovate faster to produce higher quality parts. Furthermore, TWS is using their FEA simulations to better understand the complex interactions between the tool and the material, so that they can implement accurate tool wear models into their software.

Using the InfiniteFocus G5 system from Bruker Alicona, TWS is performing controlled machining tests and measuring the tool profile as it wears. These scans are then put in directly into AdvantEdge™ to perform simulations with the worn profile to understand how the machining process evolves. These simulation results are validated with measurements acquired during the machining tests and are then being used to create tool wear models.

Scans of a new and worn tool acquired using the Bruker Alicona InfiniteFocus G5 and Wear Measurement Module. The measured tool profiles are input into Third Wave Systems’ AdvantEdge FEA software to analyze the effects of tool wear during machining © Third Wave Systems

Cutting tools, e.g., have very critical features like the cutting-edge radius, corner radius, rake angles or helix angles that impact material flow during machining and consequently impact power requirement during the machining process. Flute and gash design are critical for chip evacuation.

An application example: A customer from the aerospace and defense industry needed to pick the best tool for machining Titanium components using High Efficiency Machining techniques which involve high axial depth, low radial depth and aggressive speeds and feeds to take advantage of low chip loads. Three tools were shortlisted for the job, and it was the InfiniteFocusG5 system that delivered crucial information for the improvement and extension of their tool life: The tools were scanned and converted to solid models in STEP file format. Once the tools were converted to the solid model, they were analyzed in AdvantEdge™ to understand the temperature and stress profiles for the speeds and feeds that were originally identified.

In collaboration with Third Wave Systems


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