Millalyzer User Manual

Millalyzer is a machining simulation software that can predict milling forces and tool deflection as a function of workpiece material and machining parameters.

Overview

Main window

The millalyzer main window is split into two tabs, one for simulations (above, Milling) and one for the tool database (Tools). On the left side of the milling tab, the machining conditions, endmill and workpiece material are chosen, while results of the simulation are displayed on the right side

The plot to the right shows the development of the forces acting on the tool during one full revolution. Note that these are the nominal forces that would be observed with a perfectly rigid tool.

Note

Almost all fields where data can be entered also have an built-in help that is shown if the mouser pointer is left hovering over the corresponding text label.

Basic Use

Materials First, select the workpiece material from the drop-down menu. Currently, the materials shown in the chart to the left are supported. If your material is not listed, using one with similar strength properties, but be aware that the predicted forces will not be as accurate.

AP and AE Then, pick a tool from the list and enter the geometric cutting conditions. The axial tool engagement is sometimes also called depth of cut and the radial engagement may be referred to as width of cut, stepover or optimal load* in the context of high-speed machining strategies.

Setting feed-rate

There are three alternative ways to specify feed rate - you only set one of the three and the others are computed automatically. The most direct option is of course to set the feed-rate directly as a linear speed (VF). However, you can also set the feed-per-tooth (FZ) or the uncut chip thickness (HEX) instead. The last two differ whenever the radial engagement is much less than the tool radius. When you switch to another option to select feed, the corresponding label is shown in bold letters and remains active. That is, if you specify e.g. 40 μm chip thickness but then change spindle speed or radial engagement, the feed rate will be updated accordingly.

Exposed length (stick-out)

While the amount by which the endmill extends beyond the face of the tool-holder has no direct influence on forces, it does change the amount of tool deflection. This value should therefore be adjusted if accurate deformations are needed; otherwise, it can be left unmodified.

Path radius

Path radius Usually, the tool-path curvature is small, at least relative to tool dimensions, so that the path can be considered straight. Leave the path radius at 0.0 for this case (it should really be infinite radius, strictly speaking).

An important situation where the tool-path curvature cannot be neglected is helical ramping, for which a positive radius value should be entered. The concave workpiece contour will increase the engagement angle and therefore cause larger loads than what would be seen for a straight pass. Similarly, a convex path (enter the radius with a negative sign) will reduce engagement angle.

Results

On each solve, the list of results on the right side of the milling tab is updated. A new solve is started by clicking the Solve button or by selecting the menu items Constrain AE or Constrain AP.

To the left of the plot, a list of relevant integrated results for the entire tool are displayed. More information regarding the sign convention used can be found in the in depth chapter. For conditions with partial engagement (small AP, low flute count), the cutting edge looses contact with the material for a part of the revolution. Thus, the peak forces acting on the tool while engaged can be very much higher than the those which act averaged over the entire revolution. Therefore, peak and mean forces are listed separately.

At the bottom of the result list, power and torque are also shown. These are the mechanical torque and power needed to force the endmill through the material, not considering possible further contributions that are not related to the cutting action. Electrical spindle power will most likely be somewhat higher due to friction and motor efficiency.

Some examples demonstrate what millalyzer can be used for.

Units

Millalyzer can use both metric and imperial/US customary unit system. Switch between the two by (un-) selecting the Use metric units option in the Edit menu. Please let us know if you encounter inconsistencies with imperial quantities, or if you prefer to see alternative options (oz-in or lbf-ft?) because development and most testing is performed in metric units.

Licensing

Activation window When attempting to solve for the first time, the license activation window is displayed. Here, enter the email address that you used when purchasing millalyzer, the product key and your personal license key. This license key is shown in the purchase confirmation window and mentioned in the email as well.

Click Activate to run the network license activation. This step requires internet access, so it cannot be performed when offline. The activation window can only be closed by leaving the application.

Activation product keys for different versions of millalyzer are shown in the following table. Every license key is bound to one specific product key, but can be used for different software versions that share the same product key.

Version Product Key
Early bird, 0.x.y 9ED8
Static 1.1.y, 1.2.y 5NU3
Dynamic 1.1.y, 1.2.y C2AL

Alternative file-based licensing

millalyzer also permits to load a license file instead of the network activation. This route is suitable when online activation is not available or undesirable, e.g. when the computer is not connected to the internet. Email us for assistance. Please paste the Host ID displayed in the activation dialog in your emails so that we can generate a license file for your computer.

To activate using a license file,

  1. Save the license file that we sent somewhere on the computer on which you want to use millalyzer
  2. In millalyzer, open the ‘Activate’ dialog from the ‘Help’ menu
  3. In the dialog, ignore the data fields, just click ‘Load file’ directly
  4. Select the license file that you saved in (1)

Now the dialog should display a message that the license file was accepted, or an error message if the computer’s host ID does not match the one in the file.

Activation failure

Sporadic activation failures have been reported by users still running Windows 7. While we do our best to help you out, please note that Windows 7 is not supported anymore. In other words, it may work but we can’t guarantee that it will.

In case the online activation fails, please contact us and specify product name and the license key from your confirmation email. We will provide license files for offline activation for all valid license keys.

Multiple computers

You can activate your personal license key on more than one computer, but please be aware that you will need to activate again when you migrate to different hardware or operating systems, and that the re-activation count is limited.

Should you be running a business and want to use millalyzer on more than a few seats, let us know and we’ll find a more convenient solution for you.