Cutting tool wear needs to be monitored closely to ensure good quality of machined parts. However, manual inspection is both expensive and time consuming, therefore there is a need for automated monitoring methods. We present a technique that can reconstruct the cutting tool surface in 3D, allowing a spatial estimation of the tool wear with high accuracy. The reconstruction allows an automated direct monitoring method that estimates at any time the cutting tool condition, avoiding conversion work and major quality issues. The optical measurement setup consists of a hardware triggered line scan camera that registers the spinning cutting tool’s shadow inflicted by a collimated backlight. We show how to leverage the 1D line scan signal acquired at varying cutting heights of the tool into a full 3D reconstruction. The progression of tool wear may thus be monitored by comparing the reconstructed shape to previous measurements. To this end we show a methodology for tool wear quantification. Additionally, to assess the measurement technique, an accuracy analysis with ground truth geometry was performed. The technique was applied to multiple degrading drilling tools. By automation of the cutting tool health monitoring, retrofitting this technology on a conventional machining center would transform it into an Industry 4.0 compatible (smart) machining center utilizing off-the-shelf optical equipment with moderate costs.
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Cutting tool, 3D Geometry Reconstruction, Wear Monitoring
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