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Posted on Jul 6, 2020
About 20 years ago, stores wondered why they should switch from manual milling machines to CNC mill machines. The investment scenario for 5-axis CNC machining technology is similar. Those who did not switch to CNC finally fell behind. In every company, investing in the latest technologies is a condition for staying on top and competing effectively.
Currently, as much as 60 percent of parts produced in CNC stores require five-sided machining.
There often seems to be confusion about the term "5-axis" CNC machining center. Stores don't think they have 5-axis CNC machining. Each workshop has work that would benefit a 5-axis CNC machine because a 5-axis machining center makes 5-sided machining easier. So, even if you do not have simultaneous 5-axis operation, such as rotors or turbines, the parts that you produce on your 3-axis machines will be more cost-effective if you use 5-sided machining on a 5-axis machining center.
Molding is an example where you should consider Simultaneous 5-Axis, depending on the form. Mold production on a 3-axis machining center has limitations, especially for deep cavity forms or molds with high cores.
Form work on a 3-axis machining center compared to simultaneous 5-axis machining
Although you can use a 3-axis machining center to process molds, long, narrow tools are necessary if you have a mold with a deep cavity. For long, narrow tools, you need to slow down the feed speeds to minimize vibration and prevent tool breakage. Often, the required surface finish cannot be achieved with 3-axis machining for molds. For precise finishing operations, especially on small diameter molds, 3-axis machining can make the process more difficult than necessary. With simultaneous 5-axis machining, you can use shorter router tools, which means you can push faster with increased feed speeds. The use of simultaneous 5-axis machining for machining molds means that you can make heavier cuts, and Z depths are not a problem. All this results in a shorter overall machining time.
CNC machining (Computer Numerical Control) refers to the material removal process using fast precision machines that use a wide range of cutting tools.
5-axis machining refers to the ability of a machine to move a tool or part in five different axes simultaneously. Basic machining works on three main axes, X, Y and Z; however, the 5-axis CNC machining tool can rotate two additional axes, A and B, which gives the cutting tool a multidirectional approach.
:: Read more : What to expect from CNC Milling machines in the future?
:: Read more : Why You Need 5 Axis Machining Centers?
5-axis machining offers three linear axes and two rotary axes that work simultaneously to achieve complex surface treatment. 3 + 2-axis machining offers a 3-axis milling process, with two additional axes for rotating the holding tool in a fixed position, as opposed to repeatedly manipulating it during the machining process.
The 5-axis machine helps you work with smaller tolerances to obtain complex geometries, while the 3 + 2 system allows you to hold less complex parts in positions that allow better access to functions.
:: Read more : Milling Machine & Machining Center
5-axis machining helps in the cost-effective production of a sophisticated design. The benefits of switching to 5-axis machining include:
The 5-axis machine allows you to work on any surface, except the fastening area and bottom. When working with contour elements or parts requiring machining on several surfaces, you need several settings on a 3-axis machine to achieve complex geometry by manually rotating; 5-axis technology does the job in one setting, reducing the number of settings and helping you save time.
The extra motion available for 5-axis machining results in complex shapes and designs. Thanks to the 5-axis CNC machine, you have access to machining angles and arcs, which previously were only possible due to many configurations and countless special devices. Ultimately, 5-axis machining eliminates the need for complex fasteners because you can hold the part once and rotate it in one process to get the desired geometry.
The 5-axis machine allows work on any surface, except the fastening area and bottom. When working with contour elements or parts requiring machining on several surfaces, you need several settings on a 3-axis machine to achieve complex geometry by manually rotating; 5-axis technology does the job in one setting, reducing the number of settings and helping you save time.
The extra motion available for 5-axis machining results in complex shapes and designs. Thanks to the 5-axis machine, you have access to machining angles and arcs, which previously were only possible due to many configurations and countless special devices. Ultimately, 5-axis machining eliminates the need for complex fasteners because you can hold the part once and rotate it in one process to get the desired geometry.
Get as much information as possible before deciding whether to use 3-axis or 5-axis machining. Check the data collected from the customer for correctness and accuracy. Look carefully at the parts and decide if you need an initial test to ensure accuracy. In addition, perform a cost analysis to determine the best machining for the job.
Make the most of your simulation software to verify any process before sending it from the CAD system to the machine to avoid collisions. When working on a 5-axis machine, it is difficult to visualize collision points; the tool length, tool interference and part size can be closely monitored with the software.
Reconsider workload using an approach that eliminates configurations and reduces support; unique loading options ensure better access to all parts of the part. A creative approach streamlines the production process and helps improve the accuracy and overall finish of the products.
Work with tools for 5-axis machining, especially in high-speed applications. At the end of the process, the final part should fall off the machine without using manual force.
:: Read more : CNC vertical milling machine
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