Commonly used to produce complex parts for the aerospace, medical, automotive, and toolmaking sectors, 5-axis machines complete tasks quickly and accurately with only one set-up. Because of the unique capabilities, 5-axis machining makes it possible for companies to expand their offerings and venture into new markets. By taking advantage of 5-axis machining, companies increase their revenue opportunities and gain a better foothold in their market.
What is a 5-Axis Machine?
3-axis machines move a part in two directions while the cutting tool moves up and down. A 5-axis machine rotates on two different rotary axes, allowing the cutting tool to approach the part from multiple angles. This increases accuracy and allows machinists to produce complex parts with minimal effort.
5-axis machining is generally used for two applications: to create complex three dimensional shapes and for the conventional machining of tilted surfaces. The type of application determines the complexity of the machining program required.
Fortunately, recent advancements have simplified 5-axis programs. Typically, a machinist only needs to learn one application to complete each task. However, it’s important that only skilled machinists work with these machines. Depending on the application, a lack of experience and understanding could create serious problems with the finished product.
5-Axis Machine vs. 2-3-Axis Machine
Although many machinists work with 2-3 axis machines, upgrading to a 5-axis machine provides numerous benefits. 2-3 axis machines require multiple set-ups. With each new set-up, the chance of error increases. 5-axis machines allow machinists to complete projects with a single set-up. In addition to reducing the chance of error, 5-axis machining increases accuracy and ensures the consistency of every part produced.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see 5-axis capabilities under-utilized. Machinists need extensive knowledge and experience and the right software to create a cutting program that utilizes the CNC machine to its full potential.
Means Engineering Helps Organizations Increase Their Opportunities
Means Engineering recently acquired a 5-axis CNC machine. This will allow us to produce a wide range of complex products for our partners in the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. Our experienced team has received extensive training and understands how to properly utilize our new machine. Please contact us for more information about our 5-axis machining capabilities.