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Destroying chatter and normalising ‘weird’ endmills through advanced features in ANCA’s latest ToolRoom release

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ANCA’s ToolRoom RN34 is the right tool for the aerospace, die mould, general machining and power generation industries - offering improved productivity through the intuitive creation of complex endmill geometries.

As users have chased higher productivity and higher quality for finished products, cutting and grinding tools have become increasingly complex. Manufacturing high-performance endmills is no longer a dream, instead it is a real possibility with the right approach and tools.
In a feature article on the subject roughly a decade ago, one trade magazine which is now no longer around observed, “endmills have gotten weird”. This described ’weirdness’ was new features to combat the harmonics from the cutting forces between the cutter and the workpiece in milling.
Chatter is the enemy of high-quality surface finish, dimensional accuracy, and tool and machinery life. Tactics to minimise this include the work holding, controlling feeds and speeds, and (most importantly) tool design (which is where the “weirdness” comes in).
Fighting chatter has often been the end goal. Chatter happens when the harmonics of an endmill and a workpiece are at different frequencies, with these two objects hitting together, resulting in noise and damage. Endmills have been designed to avoid or minimise chatter through variable helix/lead and pitch. Variable Helix/lead with angle changes along a flute have also been used. These options can change the angle and the timing with which the workpiece is engaged.
Variable helix/pitch introduces uneven weight distribution throughout the tool and will need balancing at higher RPMs. Unbalanced tools can cause chatter and vibrations, resulting in tool breakage, bad surface finish on a workpiece, damage to machine bearings and lower productivity.

Balanced tools can push up speeds, feeds, depth of cut and eliminate the likelihood of unwanted vibrations and chatter. Keeping them at bay has pushed up geometric complexity.
Deploying any or a combination of these techniques has involved a lot of trial and error among toolmakers, which highlights the blend of art and engineering involved.
“Customers and end users are demanding and expecting to design and manufacture high- performance complex endmill geometries at the click of a button” observes Thomson Mathew, Software Product Manager at ANCA CNC Machines.
The high complexity of such endmills designed to minimise chatter has influenced the development of the most recent version of ANCA’s ToolRoom software suite. ToolRoom RN34 will be released in September at EMO Hannover, the premier trade show for metalworking technology.

Leading cutting tool manufacture Fraisa, has reduced set up from hours to five minutes through new tool balancing software
Douglas Franke, Fraisa Production Manager has used the latest software and commented “We have had multiple customer requests to balance tooling, especially for their aluminum jobs. So far, on every tool we have balanced, the customer has been very satisfied. Without the balancing software we would have to grind a tool, take that tool to our wheel balancer and run it there. We would mark on the tool with the point with the point it was out of balance and then extend that flute back a certain amount and run another setup piece. It could take three to five set up pieces before we were within satisfactory results.”
“With ANCA’s balancing software we have a tool balanced generally within five minutes. Some of our more complex tooling can take a little longer – up to 20 minutes. This drastically decreased our time in setup on the machine which could take several hours. Our biggest success story has been an aerospace customer who is running our 1” aluminum roughing tool at 25k rpm.”
“They were getting a G60 or more balancing result with the initial tool we gave them (which was not balanced). After they asked us to balance the tool, we ran it through the script and now the tool is running at G3.2 in their holder. We also have another large prototype customer machining aluminum molds and we balance ever tool for them. This has allowed us to get better surface finishes on their parts compared to their previous tool supplier.”

ANCA is a leading manufacturer of CNC cutter and grinder tool machines, with 45 years of history in machine tool and related innovations. This release is the latest addition to its toolbox of technology, which includes control systems, linear motors, software, in process measurement and even automated loading solutions with robots.

ToolRoom RN34 comes with a package of features focusing on the aerospace, die mould, general machining and power generation industries, offering improved productivity and intuitive creation of complex endmill geometries.

Differentiation for endmill producers through complex geometrics design

“ToolRoom RN34 is aimed to be the differentiator among many suppliers of endmill manufactures in the industry by allowing customers to design complex geometries through software to achieve increased tool life, productivity, cutting volume and increased quality and precision of the workpiece” says Thomson Mathew
The constant helix ballnose option, for example, is replaced by a graphical drag-and-drop designer. This ballnose type of tool, with optimised irregular helix curves to reduce vibration, and with near-instant visualisation easily achieved by switching from the 2D projection of the cutting edge to the 3D.


New fluting cycles have been added, with these support option combinations: variable helix and NAS, NAS and radial land, and variable helix and radial land. Per-flute programming allows for parameters to be controlled individually (such as flute depth, length, taper etc.)

ToolRoom RN34 is chasing better productivity

Tool balancing is also a part of RN34, which is a valuable offering for users chasing maximum productivity. Correcting tool balance is useful in cases where the endmill has only one flute or an odd number of flutes, flutes are unevenly spaced, flutes have variable helix, and other unevenly-positioned features (such as chip breakers) enabling the tool to perform at very high speeds and feeds.
“Direct communication between design and simulation software packages has simplified tool balancing and made it a breeze” says Thomson Mathew.
Tool balancing minimises the influence of eccentric weight distribution when using high-speed spindles. It can eliminate noise and vibration, improve machine bearing life, improve surface finish on work products, and decrease the need for maintenance.

Other features with the latest version of ToolRoom RN34 include revamped ToolTypes like double radius endmills, Threadmills, lollipop cutters, countersink tools, pocket grinding applications, embedded grinding files, new grinding methods, chip breaker operations, constant helix fir tree cutters, protection for grinding files, double margin drills, support for windows10 and various other enhancements in profile software and other ToolTypes.    
“ToolRoom RN34 is a complete package focused on end users to design and manufacture a wide range of complex tool geometries. So don’t be afraid of technology, but think about how it can be leveraged to create new levels of productivity.” concludes Thomson Mathew.


25 July 2019