A Mechanism to Detect Lateral Forces during Spark Assisted Chemical Engraving Microcutting

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  • Abstract—Spark Assisted Chemical Engraving (SACE) is a non-traditional micro-machining technology, with one of its unique characteristics being the physical distance relationship between the tool and workpiece during machining. Previous papers have illustrated that maintaining space between the tool and workpiece during machining is beneficial for high quality results; in this paper, for the first time, methods of detecting very small lateral forces experienced on the workpiece from the tool head will be examined on the design level. Using compliant mechanisms to ensure stability of the workpiece during machining while being capable of transferring affected forces to sensors via amplification mechanisms is the proposed approach of this paper to facilitate machining with minimal tool-workpiece contact. Four workpiece holding flexure designs with three compliant hinge variants were analyzed for their maximum deflection under lateral load, with one design being developed further with the modification to account for axial force loads during machining. This further developed design was tested in simulations with the amplification mechanism attached in order to determine the efficiency of force magnification. The goal was to detect a small amount of lateral force and have the flexure mechanism deflect minimally; the developed flexure experienced a typically small lateral force, which caused a minimal deflection in the fixture and a sizable deflection in the amplification mechanism. From these simulation results, is it determined that the design developed has achieved the set out criteria for allowing less than 5 microns of deflection with a 20 mN lateral load.

    Part of Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering International Congress 2022. (after the abstract)

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International