This paper describes recent research progress at the University of New Hampshire in the area of smart machining systems. Central to creating a smart machining system is the challenge of collecting detailed information about the milling process at the tool tip. This paper discusses the design, static calibration, dynamic characterization, and implementation of a low-cost wireless force sensor for end-milling. The sensor is observed to accurately measure force when most of the cutting power is band-limited below the sensor’s natural frequency. Sensor geometry constrains the milling application to a single tooth cutter; while this constraint is impractical for industrial applications, our sensor is shown to provide useful information in a laboratory setting.

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