This paper presents the micromanufacturing of aluminum (Al) alloy microrods using micro turning as a competing process to other nontraditional micromachining methods. In that regard, the challenges in such manufacturing have been identified and overcome. The strategies of step-by-step cutting have also been delineated. In addition, the influence of step size and step length on the cutting and thrust forces were investigated. The chip morphology for micromachining was examined using scanning electron microscopic imagery. The safe dimension of the microrod was calculated and, subsequently, used to fabricate microrod, conical tip rod, and grooved rod from 3 mm long and 1.5 mm diameter rod using an appropriately coded computer numerical control (CNC) micromachining center. Our results showed that the thrust force was responsible for part deflection, emphasizing the necessity for computing safe dimensions. At shallow step sizes, the thrust force was more dominant, causing plastic deformation associated with rubbing and burnishing. The chips produced were irregular and sliced in nature. Conversely, at high step sizes, the cutting force superseded the thrust force, resulting in chips that were spread more along the width as opposed to the depth. The chips also had a smoother interacting surface. Finally, micro turning was successfully implemented to manufacture milli-scale structures (i.e., 3 mm long) with micro features (150 to 230 μm diameter) on aluminum alloy materials.
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