The drive for ever increasing productivity puts continuously increasing demands on cutting tool performance. With the cost of a single prototype tool design near $10,000, the benefits of virtual development are clear. Computer simulation can provide accurate information on chip form, cutting force, temperature, workpiece surface integrity and other vital performance information. Recent advances in simulation technology, combined with ever increasing available of computational power at low cost, have vastly expanded the range of machining applications which can be studied in practical times. This paper examines finite element solver technology, recent research and test results enabling virtual development and prototyping of cutting tools.

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