Metal 5-axis CNC Lathe milling is the fastest precision CNC machining process.

CNC machine

A tool used in 5-axis machines can travel in five directions: X, Y, Z, as well as A, and B, around which it rotates. The need to manually move the workpiece between processes is eliminated when using a 5-axis CNC machine, which enables operators to approach from all directions in a single operation. Time-efficient 5-axis CNC machining is best for producing intricate and precise parts for the aerospace, oil & gas, and medical sectors. Product teams need to be aware of a few different types of 5-axis machines, such as mill-turning CNC centers, continuous 5-axis CNC machines, and indexed 5-axis CNC machines.

In indexed 5-axis CNC machining, similar to 3-axis CNC milling, the cutting tool only moves along three axes and doesn’t stay in constant contact with the workpiece. However, between operations, the cutting table and tool head can automatically swivel in two directions. Making housings, jigs, and fixtures is a breeze with indexed 5-axis machining. In terms of speed, accuracy, and the capacity to handle complicated geometries, it lies between continuous 5-axis CNC machining and 3-axis CNC milling.

Continuous 5-axis CNC machining allows for simultaneous rotation and movement of the workpiece and cutting tool, which speeds up production and enables the creation of complex geometries with organic surfaces. Continuous 5-axis CNC machining has the highest cost per product but improves surface polish, speed, and dimensional stability.

Turning lathe With one exception—they have CNC milling machinery—CNC centers are nearly identical to CNC turning machines. Cutting tools remove material from the workpiece while it is attached to a spindle that can either rotate or remain still. Mill-turning is made possible by integrating CNC lathe and milling equipment. CNC centers are excellent for producing parts with asymmetric rotational symmetries, such as camshafts or centrifugal compressors, because of their high levels of accuracy and geometric adaptability.

These 5-axis CNC milling machines not only offer larger yields and faster machining speeds but also greater precision when cutting deeper pieces and hardened materials. However, because 5-axis machining requires specialized machinery and sᴋɪʟʟed labor, it is more expensive.

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Video resource: Action Machines

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