Using molecular dynamics simulations, we study the generation of plasticity during cutting of a CuZr metallic glass. We characterize the deformation occurring at different cutting depths and velocities. A regular pattern of parallel shear bands forms in the chip in agreement with experimental work. The shear bands are better defined and further spaced apart for deeper cuts. For small cutting velocities 20m/s, a sharp boundary plane separates the plastically deformed material in the chip from the virgin workpiece. This is the case even for the deepest cuts performed. The chip is of roughly prismatic shape; its thickness is determined by how fast the shear bands formed within the chip propagate. We find that at the core of a shear band, the number of full icosahedral clusters decreases by more than 50%. At higher cut velocities, we find bent shear bands and irregular shear-band patterns when shear bands merge.

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