Posted on: Sep 03, 2018, | By Candy, WayKen Project Manager
CNC machining is a procedure used in most manufacturing operations and is widely used in most industries. CNC, which stands for Computer Numeric Control and deals with the use of a single or more computers to administer actions of different machine tools like lathe, router, and mill. This procedure can be used to produce parts from a wide range of materials like plastics and metals.
It uses a unique CNC programming language and software referred to as the G-Code to regulate everything to do with the movement of machine tools to produce an object. Programming commands control the speed and arrangement of the cutting equipment in relation to the piece of work, the cutting speed of material into the equipment and various other factors.
The whole procedure will take off with a computer-aided design (CAD) model or drawing The G-code will then be extracted from this model, and a test run will be conducted. This helps reduce the damage on a specific cutting equipment or piece of work. CNC machines can move the cutting material or workpiece in various axes of motion which include the x and y-axes. 3-Axis machine can move in X, Y and Z axes to come up with 3D shapes which is the fundamental model.
More developed 4-Axis CNC machining equipment bring in a fourth rotational axis of movements aligned to the X axis to give room for the creation of more complex parts. 5-Axis and 6-Axis machining equipment are accessible, and this makes it even possible to produce any shape that comes to mind. There has been significant growth in the number of industries using 5-Axis CNC milling or 5-Axis CNC machining in based of the development of 5-axis cnc machines development. The annual growth rate of about 6% has left many wondering and wanting to know more about this procedure.
5-Axis CNC Machining
This is a procedure which involves the use of CNC to move cutting equipment or different parts across five different axes at the same time. This gives room for the production of very intricate parts, and that is why 5-Axis CNC milling is very common in aerospace operations. One factor that has contributed most to the use of 5-Axis CNC machines is the need to increase adeptness and reduce the time taken from the start of the actual process to its completion.
The power to avoid crashing with part holding the equipment by revolving the table or cutting tool gives room for a quick approach to part geometry is another contributing factor. Lastly, enhanced equipment life or longevity which is as a result of revolving the table or cutting equipment to keep up with the best incisive position and consistent chip load.
Types of 5-Axis CNC machines
There are a couple of operations where 5-axis CNC machines can save much of your time and enhance your current procedure. These machines come in several types to meet the requirements of the ever-growing manufacturing industry. A unique difference in 5-Axis CNC machines is the arrangement of the rotary axes. They are of three different types which include head/head, table/table and table/head.
The rotary axes of this type of CNC machine are situated in the head. They are made with a 5-Axis apex which is on a particular platform and moves through a fixed table that keeps the workpiece in place. This gives the apex the chance to move around a specific piece making 5-Axis CNC machines the best for the production of large parts. They usually have limited movements in the rotary axes and tilt which is as a result of their design.
In this type of machine set up, one of the rotary axes is situated in the table and the other one in the head. The revolving axis is located in the head and has a restricted range, while the rotary shaft is found in the table and its scope is not limited. Since the part rests on the rotary axis, this arrangement is limited to the number of items it can produce. One way this type of setup is slightly advantageous compared to the head/head type is in its ability to consistently revolve the part without the worry of reaching a specific limit.
Here, machines have all the rotary axes located inside the table and also have a restricted scope in the revolving axis. The range in its rotary axis is not limited. This type of machine arrangement has a minimal work envelope compared to the other types. Other are fitted with definite motors which makes them work fast.
Benefits of 5-Axis CNC Milling
There are quite many benefits you get to enjoy with this type of machining configuration. They include:
5-Axis CNC machines will help you save a lot of time compared to the other types. Parts created in most CNC shops need to be machined on five sides. 5-Axis CNC milling will help do the job fast and effectively. A little setup is also required, and this helps save time and money.
Quality Surface Finish
This type of configuration also helps create surfaces with a quality finish. The location of the parts is much closer to the cutting tools in 5-Axis machines. The last two axes will let one use short cutting tools, which do not vibrate so much and this will lead to a quality surface finish.
The other good thing about 5-Axis CNC machines is that they cut intricate shapes. Various parts will require all the five axes. The extra movements in this type of arrangement give room for manufacturing angles and arcs. Before, they would need additional set-ups and unique fixtures.
There is improved accuracy in 5-Axis CNC milling because it requires minimal setups. Additional setups will only lead to more errors. It also helps increase the longevity of a particular tool. This mostly as a result of shorter cutting tools.
Not many shops have a 5-Axis CNC machine. Having one will lift you a step higher above your competitors. You can give your customers something your competitors cannot offer. You should try out this type of machine setup and enjoy the benefits that they bring.