What is 5-axis CNC machining?

5-axis machining is the most accurate and advanced method of manufacturing complex, precision metal parts on the shop floor.

In a 5-axis CNC machine, the tool moves in the X, Y and Z axes, just as it does in a 3-axis machine. In addition to this, the table can rotate the part around the X and Y axes.
These planes of rotation are called the A-axis and B-axis, respectively.
These additional rotations open up other sides of the workpiece that could not be machined before. Thus, for 5-axis machines, accurate 3D machining is possible because the machine moves in the XYZ axis and rotates in the A and B planes simultaneously.

What is 3+2-axis machining?

Some people tout 3+2-axis machining as being the same as 5-axis machining, but this is not the case. While both can move in the same direction, they do so in different ways.
In a true 5-axis milling machine, the tool can move in the XYZ axis, while the table rotates in both the A and B axes. However, this simultaneous movement is not possible on a 3+2-axis milling machine.
A 3+2-axis machine can only move the table by rotating the table along the X and Y axes before the cutting starts. It cannot perform this operation in real time when cutting in the XYZ axis.

Benefits of 5-axis part machining

There are many advantages to using a quality 5-axis CNC machining service.

What is the role of precision mechanical parts processing in the machinery manufacturing industry
What is the role of precision mechanical parts processing in the machinery manufacturing industry

Complex part creation

Because of this, 5-axis CNC machining is very popular in the aerospace, automotive and energy industries. It can handle a variety of curved geometries, narrow cavities, overhanging features, etc. that cannot even be covered by other machining methods.

What are the processing sequences of precision mold parts?
What are the processing sequences of precision mold parts?

Reduced lead times

Manufacturing parts with 5-axis CNC machines is a very fast job. It does not require multiple setups to change fixtures or part orientation. It can create incredibly complex shapes in a single step machining process.

Incredible surface finish

Thanks to the 4 and 5 axis movements, this 5-axis machine can orient parts closer to said cutting tool. This allows for cleaner and more accurate cuts, resulting in a top-notch surface finish.

Disadvantages

The only downside to 5-axis CNC machining is its cost. The premium service and features it offers make it more expensive than 3-axis and 4-axis machining.
However, for applications that require ultra-high quality, this extra cost is worth it.

Applications

Some typical applications for 5-axis machining include
Machining complex shapes
Creating angled surfaces
High precision, low tolerance applications.

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