What is 5-axis CNC Machining?

A process that uses computer numerical control to simultaneously move cutting tools or parts along five axes is called 5-axis CNC machining.

It has three linear axes and two are rotational.

Demonstration of 5-axis

René Descartes invented a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system,Which is used to measure three linear axes (X, Y, and Z).

A buzzing fly was the reason behind the invention of the Cartesian Coordinate System. Descartes decided to determine its position using his room’s three-dimensional space.

He used three measurement variables (X, Y, and Z).

Now consider that fly is rotating and we’re interested in discovering its orientation.

To describe this rolling movement, we need two extra axes i.e. 4th and 5th axes.

Just replicate the rolling fly with the workpiece.

But orienting not moving linearly.

These same axes are used in 5-axis machines.

Configurations of 5-Axis Machining

There are two major configurations of 5-axis machines

Swivel Rotate Style

Trunnion StyleSwivel Rotate Style

These CNC machines use the rotary axes by rotating the spindle.

This style is best for machining heavier parts because the table is constantly horizontal.

Trunnion Style

These CNC machines have moving tables and no space left for the spindle to cover, which is advantageous for creating large volumes.

Working Mechanism of 5-Axis CNC Machines

A five-axis CNC machine has the potential to adjust a tool or workpiece in five different axes at once.

The cutting tool moves across X, Y and Z linear axes as well as rotates on the A and B axes to approach the workpiece from any direction.

As it is capable of performing the subtractive operation on every surface in multiple directions except its clamping area and the bottom.

Why You Should Choose 5-Axis CNC Machining

If durability and efficiency are your major concerns then 5-axis machining is better.

A comparison of 3D printing, 3+2-axis machining, and 5-axis machining is shown next.

It will clear your understanding why 5-axis machining is superlative to the other two technologies.

5-Axis Machining vs 3D Printing

Fundamental difference between 5-axis machining and 3D printing is that 5-axis is a subtractive process, while 3D printing is an additive process.

When complex products, different material choices, and large production are needed then 5-axis machining should be used.

But if certain parts designs are to be made then 3D printing is the best choice.

5-Axis Machining vs 3+2 Axis Machining

Differentiating 3+2 axis and 5-axis machining is difficult because there exists a slight difference between them. 3+2 machining uses 3-axis to execute milling and the other 2 axes are rotating, used to fix the

cutting tool or blank. It requires stopping and starting in 3+2 axis while 5-axis machining is continuous. The use of the fourth and fifth axes differs in both technologies.

5-axis CNC machining is suitable for complex contour surface machining and 3+2 operation is considered good for curves or angled tubular shapes processing.

Applications of 5-Axis CNC Machining in Different Industries

5-axis machining is used in many industries, especially such industries that require parts with complex geometries and tight tolerances.

Aerospace Industry

5-Axis precision machining empowers the fabrication of extremely complex shapes featuring ultra-high precision and tight tolerances, which is a very basic demand in the aerospace sector.

Medical Industry

In the medical industry, the standards of meeting product quality and accuracy are very high.

Because a minor error in any part could put a patient’s life at risk.

Therefore, the 5-axis machining is well suited because of its high precision capabilities.

Automotive Industry

Automobile corporates continuously develop and change their vehicle models.

These new designs have special shapes with high tolerance specifications.

Since these properties are adequately achieved by five-axis CNC machining.

Therefore, they mostly prefer this production method.

Oil and Gas

Energy Sector

The energy business likewise requests uncommon shapes for use in different electrical generation machines. 5-axis machining is more than fit for dealing with these necessities.

Benefits of 5-Axis CNC Machining

Outstanding Processing Accuracy and Efficiency

Single Setup

Complex Parts

Better Surface Finish

Improved Tool Life


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