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5-Axis CNC Machining-Simply Explained

Written by Fiona    2022-08-01

Maybe you are already familiar with 3-axis and 4-axis CNC Machining but barely know about 5-axis CNC Machining. Here is a quick guide to 5-axis CNC Machining which will make you understand how they work, the benefits, and the types of machines available.

To better support the increasingly complex needs of advanced industries such as aerospace engineering, medical, national defense, robotics, and automotive manufacturing, multi-axis CNC machines have revolutionized manufacturing.

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Part 1. What is 5-Axis Machining?

If you want to know 5-axis machining, you should know CNC first. CNC is the abbreviation of Computer Numerical Control, meaning digital computer control (system), commonly known as "CNC". CNC processing usually refers to the use of automated machine tools equipped with the system, such as CNC machining centres, CNC milling machines, CNC lathes, etc., for processing parts.

The CNC control system can logically handle the program (NC program) with control codes or symbolic instructions. It will be decoded so that the machine can complete the corresponding processing action. People think it might be costly and challenging to operate. In fact, 5-axis machining is beneficial and operations. It will help you get the job done most efficiently with an amazingly high return on investment (ROI).

5-axis Machining, as the name implies, is a mode of CNC (computer numerical control) machine tool machining. A 5-axis machine has more axes than the historically more common 3-axis and 4-axis machine. And the 5-axis machine can operate in the 5-axis, including X, Y, Z, A, and B coordinate systems. Compared to 3-axis and 4-axis CNC Machining, using 5-axis CNC machining for complex surfaces has many advantages over 3-axis and 4-axis CNC Machining. Therefore 5-axis CNC machine price is higher than both of them.

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Part 2. Advantages of 5-Axis Machining

When it comes to the characteristics of 5-axis machine tools, it is necessary to compare them with traditional 3-axis machines. 3 axis machining equipment is more common in production, with several vertical, horizontal, and gantry forms. Standard machining methods are end mill end-edge machining and side edge machining. The ball-head cutter profiling processing and so on. But no matter which form and method have a standard feature, that is, in the machining process, the tool axis direction always remains the same. 3-Axis Machining can only achieve the machine through the interpolation of X, Y, and Z, three linear axes, to achieve the movement of the tool in the space right angle coordinate system. Therefore, in the face of some products, 3-axis machining tool efficiency is low, poor surface quality, or even impossible to process the disadvantages of the exposed.

Compared to CNC machining with 3-axis machining, using 5-axis CNC machining for complex surfaces has the following advantages from the point of view of process and programming.

1. Improved machining quality and efficiency

5-axis machining allows for the cutting tool to keep tangential to the cutting surface.5-a xis machining can remove more material by each tool pass because lower cycle times and costs.

2. Improve cutting conditions

As the cutting tool moves toward the top or the edge of the workpiece, the cutting condition gradually deteriorates. It is necessary to rotate the table to maintain the best cutting condition. And if we want to machine an irregular plane completely, we have to rotate the table several times in different directions. Therefore, a 5-axis machines can avoid the situation where the center point of the ball end mill has a linear speed of 0 and obtain a better surface quality.

3. Reduce the number of times of use fixture

Workpiece produced by 5-axis machines doesn't need additional fixtures because the part has to be fixed and operated once to get machined. Therefore, it can reduce the cost of the fixture and maintenance.

4. Shorten the production process chain and simplify production management

The complete 5-axis CNC machines dramatically shorten the production process chain and allows for simplified production management, planning, and scheduling. The more complex the workpiece, the more obvious its advantages over traditional process-dispersed production methods.

5. The most advanced technology

5-Axis CNC machine is efficient and has quality features. So, it won't have any competition in the CNC machining market. A 5-axis machining center can give you multiple profits and less maintenance cost.

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Part 3. Disadvantages of 5-Axis Machining

Although 5-axis machining has many advantages and can do a lot of 3-axis and 4-axis machining cannot achieve the process, it is not perfect. The first one is costly. On the one hand, advanced machines like HaasUMC-750 and Pocket NC V2, their purchase price is very high, and the later maintenance of the machine is complex, the cost of processing parts is also higher than ordinary machines.

Advanced machines like this also require higher talents to operate, from programming to processing operations require much higher labour and maintenance costs than other machines. That's why 5-axis machining is not as extensive.

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Part 4. CNC Machining Services at Wenext

Wenext provides dedicated CNC machining services, including 3-axis,4-axis, and 5-axis CNC machining services. When you complete your design with the CNC software, you can upload your design on Wenext. We will check your need and quote the price for you.

Also, we will check your design online for free. Our customer success manager will be with the customers shortly after the file is uploaded to the website to ensure the file is makeable. We can make perfect workpieces and deliver them to you as soon as possible.

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Please feel free to try instant quoting on our website or contact us hello@wenext.com if you are interested.

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