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Advantages Analysis of Five-axis CNC Milling Machine

What is a 5-axis CNC milling machine?

A 5-axis CNC milling machine can cut almost any surface of a workpiece, except for the clamped parts. When processing contour parts (or parts with complex geometries), the process involves processing on multiple planes. This requires some set-up on a 3-axis machine. However, on a 5-axis CNC milling machine, it only requires one set-up, thus reducing the need to transfer the workpiece between platforms.

A 5-axis machine has the ability to move the tool and workpiece in five directions simultaneously. A standard CNC milling machine operates on three basic axes X, Y, and Z. On the other hand, a 5-axis CNC milling machine can operate on two additional rotating axes (usually A and B axes). These two axes allow the machine to cut in more directions, thereby improving productivity.

Advantages of 5-axis CNC milling machines

5-axis machining capability creates cost-effective manufacturing solutions for complex part designs. The following are the benefits of using a 5-axis CNC milling machine.

Complex geometry

5-axis machining enables complex designs and geometric details. With the axes, you can access a wider range of cutting angles, arcs, undercuts, profiles, and contours. These features can only be achieved through multiple setups on a standard 3-axis milling machine. However, using a 5-axis CNC milling machine, it only takes one station to achieve.

Improved accuracy

Each time the workpiece is transferred between setups, there is a possibility of losing alignment between planes. Unlike 3-axis machining, 5-axis milling improves accuracy by machining the part in a single setup. Thus, you can create multiple complex shapes without losing the precise alignment required to maintain final quality.

Shorter cycle time

In 5-axis machining, the cutting tool stays close to the cutting surface, thus shortening cycle time. This helps save costs as the lower tool height improves cutting efficiency. Furthermore, this setup allows for the use of shorter cutting tools, thereby reducing vibrations under high cutting rates. This ultimately leads to better surface finish.

Better surface finish

A 5-axis CNC milling machine creates more refined surfaces. The workpiece is placed closer to the cutting tool. The shorter cutting tools reduce vibrations, cutting tool deflections, and tool chatter. Thus, it allows for improved machining quality and more fine surface finishes.

High efficiency and accuracy

5-axis machines can effectively reduce cycle time and idle time. They have a range of spindle speeds and feed rates that give the machine powerful cutting capabilities. 5-axis machining is entering the era of high-speed machining. Fast movements and positioning reduce the turnaround time of semi-finished products, which improves production efficiency and accuracy.

Greater competitiveness

Not many shops have 5-axis CNC milling machines. Having one will give you a step ahead of competitors in production services. You can offer something that competitors cannot. You should try this type of machine setup and enjoy the benefits of higher revenue and productivity, efficiency, and product quality.

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