What is 5 Axis CNC Machining?

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

An example of 5 axis used to machine stainless steel

As CNC Machining Centres get more and more advanced, parts that would have previously been difficult to make are getting much easier. But how do you know when you need a 3 Axis or a 5 Axis CNC Machine?

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining is the method of manufacturing in which pre-programmed computer code dictates the path of cutting tools. The CNC Machine’s software runs line of code after line of code, allowing simple and complex parts to be machined in a single set of instructions. This means engineers are not needed to prompt the machine to move from one task to the next, saving time and increasing accuracy compared to manual machining.

3 Axis CNC Machining Centres can move along 3 different axis simultaneously, while the workpiece stays still. This can be all that your project needs, depending on the complexity of the finished part and the overall size and shape. However, for many high-level applications like machining Aerospace and Motorsport components, complex geometry and the extra precision may require 5 Axis Machining to be necessary.

How can 5 Axis Machining Benefit my Project?

5 Axis Machining, as the name implies, gives the ability to programme movement using two extra axis – this often includes the ability to rotate the entire workpiece, or to rotate the cutting tool, allowing complicated angles to be machined without having to manually re-set the part. This saves time and increases accuracy, as it minimises the human error involved in setting the part up on the machine.

The geometry of the part is the main decider as to which type of machine is needed – the more complex, the more time can be saved by using a 5 Axis Milling Machine.

Not all projects would be improved by using a 5 Axis CNC Milling Machine; many can be achieved using only 3 Axis. This can often be beneficial, as with more 3 Axis Machines available, the queue to load can be shorter.

Send any drawings or CAD models to us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to let you know whether your project would During this period, we’re still machining We installed social distancing very early on. We are running a skeleton staff allowing us to manufacture urgently needed components benefit from 5 Axis CNC Machining.