A repport from Research and Markets predicted that the global 5-Axis CNC machining centers market to grow at a CAGR of 6.66% during the period 2017-2021.
According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is self-optimized machine cutting. The cutting process primarily consists of 5-axis milling and gun drilling processes and operations. The rising self-optimization capability of these processes in 5-axis CNC machines is likely to increase the production efficiency of the cutting process along with a reduction of cost.
So What is 5-axis CNC Machining?
5-axis machining involves using a CNC to move a part or cutting tool along five different axes simultaneously. This enables the machining of very complex parts, which is why 5-axis is especially popular for aerospace applications.
The question is what the Axes in 5-Axis are?
Rene Descartes realized that he could describe the position in the room’s three-dimensional space using just three numbers, represented by the variables X, Y and Z.
This is the Cartesian Coordinate system, and it’s still in use more than three centuries after Descartes’ death. So X, Y and Z cover three of the five axes in 5-axis machining.
What about the other two? Instead of only describing the position as a point in three-dimensional space, we can describe its orientation. As it turns, picture the rolling in the same way a plane banks. Its roll is described by the fourth axis, A: the rotational axis around X.Continuing the plane simile, the pitch is described by thefifth axis, B: the rotational axis around Y.
The A, B and C axes are ordered alphabetically to correspond with the X, Y and Z axes. Although there are 6-axis CNC machines,5-axis configurations are more common, since adding a sixth axis typically offers few additional benefits.
Benefits of 5-axis Machining
When working on contoured parts or parts that require machining on several faces, you need several setups of the 3-axis machine to achieve the complex geometry through manual rotating; 5-axis technology completes the job in a single set up, reducing the number of setups and helping you save time.
The additional movement available with 5 axis machining allows you to achieve complex shapes and designs.
5-axis machining eliminates the need to create complex fixtures as you can hold the part once and rotate in a single process to achieve the desired geometry.
Every time you remove a CNC machining part from a machine, you lose the precise alignment that allows you to achieve superior quality.5 axis machining improves accuracy by allowing you to complete a task in a single set up, and create multiple and complex shapes without losing the precision required to maintain quality.
Better Surface Finishes
The fourth and fifth axes help you orient and bring the part closer to the cutting tool, allowing you to use a shorter cutting tool, which is less susceptible to vibration at extremely high cutting speeds, helping you achieve a better surface finish.