This work introduces a novel method for measuring machine tool displacement using embedded fiber Bragg grating strain sensors. Fiber Bragg grating sensors have many advantages including greatly reduced size, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and high operating temperature resistance, which makes them a good choice for manufacturing applications. The fiber optic system components were tailored to meet the dynamic requirements of a micro-machining environment. A simple bench-top cantilever beam apparatus was instrumented to demonstrate the feasibility of the measurement approach. Sensors were then potted in the through-coolant holes of a 1/8” (3.175mm) carbide micro end-mill using a high-viscosity gap-filling cyanoacrylate adhesive applied through a custom suction device. The results of modal tests using the small, lightweight Bragg sensors are compared with conventional hammer and accelerometer modal analysis techniques. The measurement of tool motion during cutting is demonstrated with a series of lathe-cutting tests.

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