Ages ago, hammer and chisel were the perfect tools for creating different objects. Centuries later, handheld machines were invented, which made machining easier. But that was too time consuming and needed excessive manual labour. Soon, computerized technology infused with machining to offer advanced computer numerical control machines (CNC machines). A program would control the tools’ movements on the blocks. It took care of the rotation of the cutter as well as the turning of the block of material. Initially, they had just one or two axes moving along the X and Y-axis. 

But soon, 3-Axis CNC machines came forward that allowed the cutter to move even longitudinally along the Z-axis. And as technology advanced, machines came with five axes to cover all the five sides of a product for building all types of parts, be it simple or complex, without any additional setup. 

This write-up explains more about 5-Axis CNC machining, its benefits, and the apt situations to use this technology. Let’s get started. 

Understanding 5-Axis CNC Machining

In the simplest terms, 5-Axis CNC machining means using machines controlled by computer numerical programs to build machined parts. These machines have cutting tools closer to the surface of the block that needs to be machined and move along five axes. In addition to the manipulation along three regular axes, five-axis machining chooses from the three rotational axes and offers a more robust mechanism for crafting specific angles and complex parts. The intricacy and precision obtained with 5-axis machining are unmatched, which makes it great for industries requiring to build complex machine parts. 

Advantages Of 5-Axis CNC Machining

Most CNC machine shops now have 5-Axis CNC machines to deliver error-free products at a quicker pace. Installing these machines may be expensive, but the endless benefits they offer compel people to utilize them for producing new CNC machined parts. Here are some of the advantages of using 5-Axis CNC machining over the earlier way of machining. 

  • Unmatched Accuracy & Precision For All Parts: One of the most significant advantages of five-axis CNC machining is the precision it can offer for all types of parts. Whether it is a complicated part, tilted surface, or a specific angle, machinists vow on 5-axis CNC machine type to get the precision and accuracy they desire. It reduces the chances of error and offers higher quality workpieces with precision accuracies.
  • Easier Machining Of Complex Shapes: Even the most experienced machinists cannot cut intricate shapes with just three axes of the earlier machines. To get undercutting or to reach specific angles of a workpiece, one needed additional setups or complete casting earlier. With the five axes machining in the 5-Axis machines, it becomes easier to reach any specific angle, machine arcs, and cut complicated shapes with ease.
  • Minimized Need For Setup Change: Several machine parts are impossible to cut with just three axes movement. They require additional setup. A 5-Axis CNC machine already has the five axes that are necessary to cut all five sides of the material to create the piece without the need to change the setup. It even helps in reducing the errors otherwise caused due to working on multiple arrangements.
  • Increased Life Of Tool: The length of the cutting tool is shorter in 5-axis machining as the machine head can be much closer to the cutter’s surface. With higher proximity, the speed issue gets resolved, and one can achieve more cutting speed. This process also minimizes the vibrations and helps the tool last much longer without breaking. It even controls the chip load, which leads to fewer collisions.
  • Decreased Collisions: Another advantage of a 5-Axis CNC machine is that it decreases the chances of collisions. With this CNC machine, one can easily tilt the cutting tool to reach specific angles. This tilting mechanism prevents any risk of collision between the surface and the cutting tool.
  • Reduced Lead Time: Efficiency is the reason why most people prefer 5-Axis CNC machining now. It lowers the overall lead time due to many reasons. One does not need to change the setup repeatedly. There are minimum manual changes and very few fixtures. With a single push setup or a Done-In-One setup, this reduces the overall time in finishing.


Also Read: 5 Best Benefits Of Using 5-axis CNC Machining

When To Use Of 5-Axis CNC Machining

CNC machining is used to cut different machined products used across various industry verticals like military, aerospace, electronics, construction, transportation, and many more. But with 3-Axis CNC machining already assisting in making many parts, why and when should one use 5-Axis machines for machining. Let’s find out. 

  • To Machine Complicated 3D Shapes: Machining complex 3D shapes aren’t easy. One needed separated casting to machine such parts. And such casting might take months to finalize. But with the CNC machining tool, one can efficiently build these parts in a short time. The movement of the machine along the five axes allows precision on all sides without additional fixtures. No matter how complex the part, CNC machining can perfect it quickly.
  • To Machine Tilted Surfaces: CNC machining is perfect for machining parts that have tilted surfaces. With a movement along the five axes, 5-axis CNC machining allows drilling of surfaces with impossible geometry. The axes can reach the irregular surfaces that are tilted to offer perfection on the surface. Tapping, boring, milling, reaming, drilling, and other operations of machining on titled surfaces is much more convenient with a machine with five axes.
  • To Machine All Sides With Specific Angles: Industries like automotive, aerospace, medical, etc., have many parts with unusual shapes that need a specialized casting to get specific angles. Reaching the complex surfaces having distinct angles is impossible with a 3-axis CNC machining. A five-axis CNC machining tool can access all five faces of the part to machine any specific angle of the machined part.
  • To Machine Flexible Outputs Quickly: When it comes to machining the different types of outputs, five-axis CNC machining offers the flexibility of diverse engineering solutions without consuming much time. While most of the manufacturers show interest in low volume machining of repeated pieces, manufacturers with five-axis machining can take up high volume orders and even change the fast changes in the products. One can reprogram the machine to create a different product within a few hours.


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Choosing The Right 5-Axis CNC Machining Company

CNC machining can help all industries like aerospace, defence, marine, medical, etc., find high-quality products in no time. It can also reduce the overall cost of getting these products. 

Now that you know the benefits of 5-Axis CNC machining and in what type of machining this technology should be used, the only thing that remains is a company that offers these services. You can look for a one-stop-shop for your machining needs, and MDA is one of the leading players you can get in touch with us. The CNC programmers working at MDA have years of experience and hands-on knowledge of the technology to offer quality 5-Axis CNC machining services.  

The company is known for its accuracy and precision in delivering products using this latest technology. No matter what industry, the company can machine parts with any specific angle and complexity. Moreover, it can also offer custom finishes to the machined parts.


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