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What You Should Know Before Buying a 5 axis CNC machine?

What is 5 axis CNC machine?

First, let's learn something about "axis":

X-axis: front to back.

Y-axis: left to right.

Z-axis: up and down.

ABC is corresponding to the rotation axis of XYZ.

5 axis: X-Y-Z-A-B, X-Y-Z-A-C, X-Y-Z-B-C (The spindle can be rotated left and right 180 degrees around.)

5 axis CNC router is also called 5 axis CNC machine or 5 axis CNC machining center, it is somewhat like the 3/4 axis CNC router, but 5 axis CNC router has two additional axis they can move along. These additional axis allow for shorter project time due to their capability of cutting five edges of the material simultaneously. However, due to the fact that these machines have a longer X-axis, it makes for less stability and accuracy-potentially requiring more of your attention than a 3/4 axis CNC router.

When someone uses the term “5-axis” they are typically referring to the ability of a CNC machine to move a part or a tool on five different axes at the same time. 3-axis machining centers move a part in two directions (X and Y), and the tool moves up and down (Z). 5 axis CNC machine can rotate on two additional rotary axes (A and B) which help the cutting tool approach the part from all directions.

There is a misperception that programming for 5 axis is complicated, time consuming, and requires you to buy an expensive CAD/CAM package. Yes, you need to invest in a CAM system for simultaneous 5 axis work (complex parts, such as turbines or impellers). This isn’t always the case for 5-sided machining.

Understanding the capabilities of the control on a 5 axis CNC machine is critical to maximizing the benefits of 5-sided machining. There are only a handful of controls that give you the ability to program a part for 5-sided machining without a CAM system, and even fewer that make the transition easy with the use of software features embedded in the control.

5 axis CNC machine

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