In the end milling process, the cutting forces during machining produce deflection of the cutter and workpiece which result in dimensional inaccuracies or surface error on the finished component. A previously developed mathematical model for the cutting force system in end milling is combined with models for cutter deflection and workpiece deflection so that the surface error profile may be predicted from the machining conditions and geometry and material properties of the cutter and workpiece. Machining experiments are performed on rigid and flexible workpieces of 7075 aluminum to verify the ability of the models to predict surface error. The model predicted surface error profiles are accurate both in magnitude and shape with the difference between measured and predicted surface errors ranging from 5 to 15 percent. This approach for the prediction of surface errors provides a useful aid for the analysis of a variety of end milling process design and optimization problems.

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