Project Researcher: Oliviero Corinaldi
The µFour is a compact research and development machine capable of both micro-milling and diamond turning. The aim of this research was to assess its capabilities with emphasis on the repeatability. To do so, several features were selected from a component of the Swatch Group. The project was focussed on both programming of the CNC codes and machining of the parts. Based on inspection of some test parts, further analysis were set to assess the machine. These helped identify the flaws of the machine and suggested the presence of geometric errors such as lack of parallelism of X/Y axes and alignment errors of tool and workpiece. Finally the components were completed and the assessment of the machine repeatability was tested with a Tesa Visio 300 dcc. Initial results indicate good repeatability (<15 micrometres) although motional settings need attention. Thus, once the alignment defects are rectified, the µFour should have great potential.
This MSc project was undertaken at Cranfield University within the EPSRC Centre in Ultra Precision during academic year 2012-2013, sponsored by Loxham Precision and the Swatch Group, supervised by Paul Morantz.