The dynamics of the metal cutting process are identified by a new and simple experimental method that permits the direct determination of the cutting transfer functions from input-output measurements. A specially designed stiff force dynamometer rigidly mounted to the machine tool’s turret is used for the measurement of the cutting force. An external force is applied to the base plate of the dynamometer in such a way that the meaurements of both the tool’s displacement and the corresponding cutting force are uncoupled from the influence of the machine tool structure’s dynamics. The cutting transfer functions are obtained in the vicinity of the structure’s first resonance, under a wide range of cutting conditions.

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