Five Axis Machining Expands Its Range

Five axis CNC machining has come a long way in Ukiah, CA. This technology was once reserved only for the most complex medical and aerospace components, due to the associated costs—but as machine and production costs go down, five axis machining can turn out precision parts at a higher rate of speed, with improved quality. Even if you can technically get away with a three axis machine, it might be prudent to opt for five axis machining instead.

Three-plus-two axes

The easiest setup for a five axis machine is using a three-plus-two axes configuration. This is a three axis machine that uses a tilted rotary table for positioning. You can make your own with a tilted rotary table and a three axis machine, but for the best results, you’ll need one with an integrated rotary table. This allows you to move just about any part of the component toward the cutting tool, giving you results very similar to a five axis CNC machine.

Five axis CNC machining

For true precision machining in Ukiah, CA, a true five axis machine is necessary. This allows you to do simultaneous contouring on all five axes, which means you can produce parts quickly and more precisely.

A five axis machine’s dynamic positioning also makes it possible to cut contours. The tool vector can be tilted into the cut, which keeps the vector constant even on sloped surfaces. It also allows you to use shorter cutting tools, which reduces vibration in the tool and on the cutting surface. This creates a smoother finish. Even with shorter cutting tools, you can use more of the cutting surface on the sides. In fact, new cutting tools are being specifically developed to work with five axis machines.

Five axis CNC machines have become easier to use, too. Not only do they eliminate the need to use more than one machine, they’re programmed to enhance component quality and increase safety, and are simpler than ever. For example, some CNC software allows you to simulate the machining environment to make sure there won’t be any collisions, and can shut the machine down if it looks like a collision is imminent. Some CNC machines automatically add the tool offset length, while other features allow the machine to “look ahead” to adjust the feed rate. This helps with tight corners and creates a highly accurate toolpath.

Ultimately, five axis CNC machining is more efficient than ever, especially as companies and programmers develop new tools and control systems. Instead of leaving it to expensive major industrial uses like aerospace and medical parts, many manufacturers are turning to five axis CNC machining to create parts in Ukiah, CA.

Could five axis machining be right for your manufacturing needs? It may be the most accessible, precise and cost-effective way to machine your components. For all your precision machining needs in Ukiah, CA, call Evden Enterprises today. We work with a variety of materials, including metals, plastics and more, and serve a range of industries. We look forward to hearing from you soon!