This paper presents a new algorithm for the direct inspection of the cutting tool wear. The place of the direct inspection is discussed. It is shown hat direct inspection does not require to establish experimentally a number of correlations amongst the cutting process parameters for each particular cutting regime, the tool and the workpiece involved. The main difficulty associated with the direct methods is the graphical representation of the wear topology using the results of the measurements. The basic principles associated with such representation are discussed. The cutting tool is represented by a set of initial geometrical parameters which constitutes its initial shape. Then, this set is used for the comparison with that of the partially worn tool to distinguish the wear topology. A number of computer program for the built-in computers of CNC machine tools are developed on the base of the proposed approach.

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