5 Axis CNC Machining
The word CNC stands for Computer Numerically controlled machines. These machines have a mechanism to use computer systems in terms of G and M codes, due to which human intervention can be minimized as much as possible. During CNC machining, a worker is required to develop a code using cam software for the part to be machined and then for only placing and removing the workpiece from the machine.
Quick links to 5 Axis CNC Machining Information
What is 5-Axis CNC Machining?
A 5-axis CNC machine involves an additional 2-axis rather than just the traditional X, Y, and Z-axis.
In 3-axis CNC machining, the machining is done in only three directions X, Y, and Z. But when we talk about the five axes, two rotational axes are also involved. These can be created by adding a tilt or rotation to either the work holder or the tool spindles themselves and can be termed the A and B axis. By involving these two axes, the workpiece can also be machined in a rotating direction. Thus five operations can be performed simultaneously on 5-axis CNC machines.
During 5 axis machining, 5 parts involving the same manufacturing operations can be manufactured at the end of each cycle because the tool can approach the workpiece in five axes. All these parts will have the same specifications and greater precision.
The 5 Axes
- The Horizontal Axis
- The Vertical Axis
- The Axis Parallel to the Tool Spindle
- A and B Axis
- These Axes Rotated with Reference to the X and Y Axis
Types of 5 Axis Machines
- Drop Swivel Head
- Drop Table
- Double Swivel Head
- Double Swivel Table
- One Swing, One Rotate
Advantages of 5 Axis CNC Machining
5-axis CNC machining enables the machine to perform complicated and detailed work by engaging all five axes at the same time, resulting in the following advantages:
- Reduced Manufacturing Time
- 5-axis machining can perform five operations at a time by working on 5 different axes simultaneously. Thus when a project is completed in a single multidimensional function, it requires fewer setup preparations and manufacturing time.
- Machining Complex Shapes
- The ability to machine complex shapes is one of the primary benefits of 5 axis machining. The extra movement in the A and B axis can generate angles and arcs, which can only be made by using jigs and fixtures in traditional 3-axis machining.
- Improving Tool Life
- When 5 axes CNC machining is employed, the tool is given an optimal inclination against the material. Due to this, the chances of collision between the tool and workpiece are reduced, and the axes A and B rotate smoothly, preventing unnecessary tool wear.
- Greater Material Removal Rate
- In 5-axis machining, the tool remains tangential to the workpiece's surface to be machined. Hence results in shorter cycle times and lower costs. It is because the tool removes more material each time it passes.
- Product Variety
- When a machine can compensate for more than one function at a time, product variety in a project can be increased because the tool can approach the workpiece in more than 3 axes. So there are more diverse opportunities for product variety.