Sandvik and Aker have pioneered the adoption of undercutting disc technology, with Joy Global more recently using oscillating disc cutters. Sandvik is currently developing their second prototype machine MX650 based on undercutting disc technology mainly for rapid mine development. Joy Global’s prototype Dynacut is also now under trial at Cadia mine in NSW. With developments using conventional cutting methods continuing to under-perform in hard rocks, the trend for other OEMs to consider undercutting disc technology was confirmed at a recent international symposium on hard rock excavation for mechanical mining in Austria. However, for uptake to happen, it is essential to remedy the lack of prior research on the fundamentals of undercutting discs and what controls the rock failure mechanisms. Our research activities aims to fulfill this requirement while complementing the ongoing efforts of OEMs such as Sandvik and Joy in designing and developing effective machines.