What are the Applications of a 5-Axis CNC machine?
Precision machining refines the workpiece, creates complex shapes, and achieves the desired results for a specific application. Computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools are engaged because they have the capability of meeting demanding requirements for accuracy, as well as high-volume production needs.
Industries such as automotive, hydraulics, aerospace, medical, and oil & gas, demand components with the very best in quality and consistency. This can be achieved through the higher complexity of a 5-axis CNC machine. This article looks at the common applications of 5-axis CNC machining.
What is a 5-Axis CNC Machine?
The cutting tool on a CNC machine can move in a number of directions. In a 2-axis CNC machine, the tool will simply move up and down, or from side to side. A 5-axis CNC machine, however, offers a great deal more flexibility and precision. Not only does the cutting tool move in a linear direction across the X, Y and Z axes, the difference is that it can rotate on A and B axes as well. This allows the cutting tool to approach the workpiece from virtually any direction, in a single operation, to perform the task at hand. The workpiece does not need to be repositioned between operations, in order for the cutting tool to access all targeted surfaces.
What are the Benefits of a 5-Axis CNC Machine?
The multi-dimensional flexibility of the 5-axis set-up allows the CNC operator to realize a number of benefits including:
- Conventional machining with tilted surfaces: A CNC machine used in this manner is capable of performing more common operations like boring, drilling, milling, tapping, and reaming. The primary difference here is that the workpiece surface might not be square with the linear axes, so the A and B axes are deployed to assist in performing the task properly.
- Machining for complex 3-dimensional shapes: Here the A and B rotary axes serve to keep the cutting tool at a 90-degree angle to the work surface to achieve the more complex patterns.
- Shorter production times: Shorter set-up by eliminating the need to reposition the workpiece and movement in a more efficient manner, enables 5-axis CNC machining to increase the production efficiencies of the manufacturing process, thereby shortening the required completion timeframes.
- Greater accuracy: While a 3-axis process can produce a high degree of accuracy, the precise movements of the five axes achieve an even higher degree of precision. This is important for any applications which require a high degree of complexity, precision or intricacy.
- Less vibration: A 3-axis machine might require longer cutting tools to achieve the necessary cuts, which can add to the amount of vibration. Because a 5-axis machine has a higher range of motion, shorter cutting tools can be used. This reduces vibration, leading to a smoother surface finish, and facilitates higher cutting speeds without necessitating higher amounts of pressure.
- Versatility: The versatility, smooth finishes and complex shapes available through the 5-axis process allow manufacturers to offer a great deal of variety and opportunities in component design.
What are the Applications of a 5-Axis CNC Machine?
5-axis CNC machining is the ideal approach for creating the complex, precise parts found in the medical, aerospace, and oil & gas industries. Common applications of 5-axis CNC machining include:
- Aerospace: The ability to produce smooth, precise shapes and contoured edges lends itself well to intricate aerospace applications.
- Medical equipment: The high precision of 5-axis CNC machining is especially appropriate for delicate medical equipment such as stents, medical devices, and implants.
- Energy production: 5-axis machining can provide detailed parts for use in energy production facilities, as well as wind turbine or compressor blades.
Learn More About the Applications of a 5-Axis CNC Machine
Leveraging advanced equipment, techniques, and offering one-stop solutions, Impro provides a wide array of precision CNC machining solutions to customers in the automotive, hydraulics, aerospace, medical, and oil & gas industries. If you are interested in finding more applications of 5-axis CNC machining, please contact our team of experts today.