What is 5 axis CNC Milling Machine
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What is 5 axis CNC Milling Machine

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-07-03      Origin: Site


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When it comes to CNC milling machine, we can not ignore 5-axis since it excellent working and practice. In this short essay, we will show you the reason why people use 5-axis CNC milling machine in many industries rather than other milling machine.


1. The definition of 5-axis CNC milling machine.

2. Basic design differences of 5-axis milling

3. Advantages of 5-aixs CNC milling machine

4. Compared to 3 + 2-axis milling

5. How to choose 5-axis milling machine?



The definition of 5-axis CNC milling machine

The term "5-axis" refers to the number of directions in which the cutting tool can move. 5-axis milling offers endless possibilities for part sizes and shapes that you can handle efficiently. In the 5-axis machining center, the tool moves on the X, Y, and Z linear axes and rotates on the A and B axes to approach the workpiece from any direction. In other words, you can work with the five sides of a part in a single setup. Fast cycle times, ease of setup, accuracy, flexibility and achievable surface quality make 5-axis machining ideal for subcontractors and operators working in high-tech industries such as aerospace and automotive. In fact, many complex components like turbines can only be produced on 5-axis milling machines.


Basic design differences of 5-axis milling

There are many different styles of 5-axis milling machines. For this article, we simplify it into two main groups; a rotating table or a rotating head.

The rotary table design is where the part is mounted on a rotating table, usually with C-axis motion. The table performs another rotation, as in the case of a trunnion, or the spindle has a rotating axis to complete a five-axis machine.

The swivel head design typically uses some type of knuckle in which the spindle is mounted. Joints usually allow two axes of rotation; typical A&C or lower B&C.



Advantages of 5-aixs CNC milling machine

  • 5-axis machining has many advantages, some of which are more common:

  • Reduce the EDM process. 5-axis milling of deep areas and ribs reduces the need for slower EDM operation, resulting in shorter transit times.

  • Use fewer settings. 5-axis machining allows one setting for mill complex shapes instead of multiple settings to accommodate machine tools, spindles and tools.

  • Save time and money. The use of shorter cutters typically allows for faster feed rates due to deflection and vibration. Reducing the EDM process saves time. Together they save money and time.

  • Grind deeper areas. It is usually possible to mill deep areas of parts that are difficult to reach straight from the Z axis by rotating the tool axis and performing a 3 + 2 or simultaneous 5 axis operation.

  • Complete with a shorter tool. This allows you to tilt the tool axis around the part, allowing for shorter tools and smaller L/D (length/diameter) ratios. This helps reduce tool vibration and deflection and provides an excellent finish.


Compared to 3 + 2-axis milling

When discussing 5-axis milling, it is important to distinguish between 3 + 2 axes and simultaneous 5-axis machining. Typically, a 5-axis milling machine will have three linear axes, X, Y and Z, which will also have two axes of rotation, A and B, A and C or B and C. The axis of rotation corresponds to a linear axis.

  • 5-axis simultaneous machining: In this mode, the rotary axis can be used simultaneously with the linear axis. In other words, all five axes can be used simultaneously. Rotate and mill simultaneously. Continuous motion means that the tool remains in contact with the part and may have fewer retractions or areas for mixing.

  • 3 + 2-axis milling: The machine uses two rotary axes to rotate into position and then performs a traditional 3-axis cut. It first rotates and then cuts, but not simultaneously. You can think of this as setting any tool vector for the temporary work plane and performing a 3-axis cut from there. Since you are setting the work plane, traditional canned cycles, such as drilling, can often be used during 3 + 2 axis machining.

How to choose 5-axis milling machine

  • The size of the workpiece. Not only do you need enough Z-strokes to fit the part, but you also need long tools to retract the part. An additional 5-axis machine clearance is required around your part for tool retraction. So when considering a 5-axis machine, consider the largest part used on the machine and add the longest tool to the dimensions around the part. This helps ensure that you buy a factory with enough clearance.

  • Axis limitation. When considering a 5-axis milling machine, consider any restrictions on the rotating shaft. The rotation limit will limit the number of parts you can mill on 5 axes. Also, if you are using a typical 5-axis milling machine, determine if there are any restrictions on the C-axis. The unlimited C-axis allows you to continuously rotate the part as it is being milled. With a continuous C-axis, you can keep rotating while milling from top to bottom, back and all areas.

  • The controller. The controller's job is to take data from the encoder on the linear and rotary axes and use it to control what the motor does next. Not all 5-axis controllers are the same. Some people are better synchronized than others. Some will slow down the milling process when some 5 axes are executed at the same time. Buying a 5-axis milling machine is very important, you can see the actual speed in the synchronous 5-axis mode.

  • CAD file. When performing 5-axis machining, you need to simulate and validate the CNC program before running on the milling machine. Some machine vendors offer their factory CAD files, some for a fee, while others don't. Whether it's providing, purchasing CAD files or designing your own CAD files, you need to validate 3D data based on actual machine size to ensure they are accurate.


In the end, we have talked about the basic introduction about 5-axis milling machine from several aspects: the definition, the basic design differences, the advantages, comparing to 3+2-axis milling and how to choose the right 5-aixs milling machine. Hope it could help you to set up a brief impression about 5-axis CNC milling.

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