A new method, which accurately predicts cutting force in ball end milling considering cutting edge around center web, has been proposed. The new method accurately calculates the uncut chip thickness, which is required to estimate the cutting force by the instantaneous rigid force model. In the instantaneous rigid force model, the uncut chip thickness is generally calculated on the cutting edge in each minute disk element piled up along the tool axis.
However, the orientation of tool cutting edge of ball end mill is different from that of square end mill. Therefore, for the ball end mill, the uncut chip thickness cannot be calculated accurately in the minute disk element, especially around the center web. Then, this study proposes a method to calculate the uncut chip thickness along the vector connecting the center of the ball and the cutting edge. The proposed method can reduce the estimation error of the uncut chip thickness especially around the center web compared with the previous method. Our study also realizes to calculate the uncut chip thickness discretely by using voxel model and detecting the removal voxels in each minute tool rotation angle, in which the relative relationship between a cutting edge and a workpiece, which changes dynamically during tool rotation.
A cutting experiment with the ball end mill was conducted in order to validate the proposed method. The results showed that the error between the measured and predicted cutting forces can be reduced by the proposed method compared with the previous method.