A theoretical and experimental investigation of orthogonal slow tool servo machining of wavy microstructured patterns on precision rollers

L. B. Kong, Chi Fai Cheung, Wing Bun Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Precision cylinders, or rollers, with patterned microstructures on the surface are the key tooling component in the Roll-to-Roll and Roll-to-Plane fabrication process for precision manufacturing of microstructured plastic films. These films are widely used in optical applications such as the backlight guide and brightness enhancement films in LCD and LED displays. Compared with other fabrication processes, such as lithography, Single-Point Diamond Turning (SPDT), using a Fast Tool Servo (FTS) or Slow Tool Servo (STS) process, is an enabling and efficient machining method to fabricate microstructures. Most studies of the tool servo machining process focus on either machining microstructures in the axial direction for face machining of flat parts or in the radial direction on the surface of a precision roller. There is relatively little research work found on the machining of patterned microstructures on the surface of precision rollers using the tool servo in the axial direction. This paper presents a pilot study on the development of a tool path generator for machining wavy microstructure patterns on precision rollers by using an Orthogonal Slow Tool Servo (OSTS) process. The machining concept of OSTS is first explained, and then the tool path generator is developed in detail for machining wavy microstructure patterns on a roller surface. Modelling and simulation of pattern generation for different microstructures with different wavy patterns and grooves are presented based on the proposed tool path generator. Preliminary experimental work using SPDT on a 4-axis ultra-precision machine tool is presented and clearly shows the generation of unique wavy microstructure patterns on a precision roller. The machined wavy microstructures on the roller surface are measured and analyzed to evaluate the validity of the proposed tool path generator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalPrecision Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Microstructured patterns
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Orthogonal slow tool servo
  • Precision roller
  • Tool path generator
  • Ultra-precision machining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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