Published in Computational Mechanics, Vol. 63(3), pp. 603-624, 2020
This work presents the development of the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) for the modelling of 3D solid mechanics problems under cutting conditions. The study and analysis of numerical models reproducing the cut of a material is a matter of interest in several areas; namely, the improvement of the material properties, the optimization of the process and tool geometries and the prediction of unexpected failures. The analysis of bi-dimensional (2D) models is the most common approach for different reasons. Just focusing on the simulation point of view, it is the simplest procedure, the cheapest in terms of computational cost and sometimes the only feasible numerical solution. However, many industrial machining processes, such as cutting, blanking, milling and drilling have not a possible simplification to 2D models. Actually even a simple turning processes for non-orthogonal cuts can not be simplified to 2D. This work present an upgrade of the PFEM techniques in order to deal with the 3D machining problems. We present recent improvements in the finite element formulation, the meshing re-connections and the contact detection. By applying these developments the PFEM has the capability for modelling a wide range of practical machining processes. In this paper the capacity of the formulation and the accuracy of the results are analyzed and validated with some representative examples.