Machine integrated Brushing for Adaptive Manufacturing of special Purpose Cutting Tools

Project Duration: 2018/06/01 until 2020/05/31

High-performance tools are geometrically complex, highly stressed tungsten carbide components. The time- and resource-saving production of such complex components is an important economic factor for tool manufacturers. The production of asymmetrical cutting edges is one of the greatest challenges in tool manufacturing: The cutting tools used are subject to high stress and therefore have only a short service life. In addition, current methods are only conditionally suitable for the manufacture of asymmetrical cutting edge geometries, such as those found in toolmaking.

Efficient production of cutting edges has many advantages: Because if cutting edge geometries are already designed for the planned process, the service life of the cutting tools can be extended by up to 300 percent; the manufacturing costs and the duration of the manufacturing processes can be significantly reduced. Another advantage is that valuable resources such as carbide, coolant and energy are conserved.

5-axis brushes for the production of complex cutting edges

If the brushing process is carried out directly in the grinding machine, even complex cutting edges can be produced faster, more flexibly and more cost-effectively than before. However, an industrial implementation has not yet taken place due to the lack of process strategies and the complex, manual programming of the brushing process. The Fraunhofer IPT and its partners are closing this gap with the "BrushtoCut" project.

The project team is developing a comprehensive technology package with which the 5-axis brush for the production of tools with complex cutting edges can be integrated directly into a machine tool. The Fraunhofer IPT is thus doing pioneering work, as no development project has yet considered 5-axis brushes for the production of asymmetrical cutting edges. The "BrushtoCut" project comprises three modules in which brushing tools are developed, process knowledge built up and processes exemplarily planned.

Technology package includes brushing tools, process knowledge and process planning 

Module 1 aims to develop improved brushing tools with wear-resistant abrasive fibres and application-specific shapes of the brushing tool bodies.

Module 2 aims at process knowledge. On the one hand, a machining model will be developed to predict the cutting edge geometry for given process parameters. On the other hand, process rules for the selection of the brushing strategy and the final brushing parameters are defined.

The third module aims at the development of CAM software for the computer-aided planning of brush processing. The software consists of a graphical user interface to design the desired cutting geometry as well as algorithms and strategies to automatically calculate the optimal tool path of the brushing tool.

All three results are combined in the final "BrushtoCut" technology package and integrated into tool grinding machines.

Project Partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
  • A+B Bürsten-Technik AG, Switzerland
  • Euklid CAD/CAM AG, Switzerland
  • Kopp Schleiftechnik GmbH, Germany
  • ModuleWorks GmbH, Germany
  • Walter Maschinenbau GmbH, Germany