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5-Axis Machining: The Game Changer in Manufacturing

Updated on July 26, 2019

Computer Numerical Control, or CNC, has been a major player in the manufacturing industry for a long time. It is a system that is designed in a way that tool head shifts and drifts unto predetermined path, so as to accomplish tasks like drilling, milling, cutting, etc. CNC Machining is used in almost every industry because of its simplicity and reliability. Initially used for milling, it has expanded its reach into many other verticals like fabrication, routing, as well as removing of metal.

The use of CNC machines with five axes is known as 5-Axis Machining. These machines are top of the line products that have helped the CNC industry by not just abridging the process, but also advancing it to a level never seen before. It can not only take up the complicated and specialized tasks, but also the more mundane ones, and deliver them with extra accuracy and better-finished products. 5-Axis CNC tool has made its way to almost every manufacturing plant for this very reason.

In this blog, we will show you exactly why 5-Axis Machining is essential for manufacturers of all kinds.

1. Time Saving

Time is the biggest commodity in every industry. One of the major reasons behind the popularity of 5-Axis CNC tools is that it takes way less time compared to other methods in completing projects. This ultimately stimulates the plants in more production. Where a tradition 3-Axis CNC tool would take 5-6 hours to complete a project, 5-Axis CNC tool can do it in as less time as 2 hours.

2. Multiple Options to Choose From

There are two types of 5-Axis Machining: 5 Sided (also called 3+2 Machining) and Simultaneous 5-Axis. Both of these types are highly efficient and have functions that can be utilized for every part of the manufacturing process. For factories which don’t mind spending a little bit extra to save more time, 5 Sided Axis Machining is the best option. Simultaneous 5-Axis Machining takes a little bit extra time than 5 Sided and is a perfect fit for plants that don't mind spending some more minutes in the process and a bit more manual labor.

3. Cost Effectiveness

With a seamless workflow, having 5-Axis Machining can be of great use in cutting down production costs significantly. While a 3-Axis Machining is cheaper, it takes too long for production and requires proper maintenance of its parts. Reprogramming and recalibration are major manual inputs required in this type of machinery, as it just operates on a single side of a part at a time. This is almost nulled out with 5-Axis CNC along with obtaining a better accuracy in the finished product.

4. Versatility

With an increasing demand for devices that require complex molding processes, 5-Axis is the perfect fit for their manufacturing. Accuracy, speed, and reliability are the three major tropes that are fulfilled using 5-Axis mills. Not only does it helps in production, but also reduces a lot of manual labor, which used to be one of the primary reasons for faulty manufacturing. A process as complex as manufacturing medical devices, for instance, requires meritorious versatility to deliver on all the aspects, which is what 5-Axis CNC tools provide.

5. Compatibility with Industrial Software

With the advent of its popularity, many technologies in the manufacturing world have evolved their functionalities to fit superlatively with CNC Machining, especially with 5-Axis tools. Most of the software in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) have upgraded themselves to be compatible with the two additional axes to accommodate with 5-Axis Machining.

The Future of 5-Axis Machining

This technological wonder has proven to be a sterling assistant to manufacturers all around the world. Existing as it is, 5-Axis tools have already ramped up the quality and production values of manufacturing mills. But, it still has a long way to go to be the superpower it is supposed to be. The aim for 5-Axis Machining obtaining a production-ready finished product in mere hours by just putting a raw block of material in the machine. Currently, there is still a little bit of manual labor required during the processing after the cutting of the material is done, which eats up a significant amount of time during the production.

The industrial geniuses are still coming up with better ways to automate the whole process for better operationality and reducing production time and costs. With constant innovation and new functionalities being introduced to the process, it is not long before this aim will be achieved and manufacturing plants and machine shops can give more output in an already demanding market.

Conclusion

The perks of upgrading your machinery to 5-Axis already outweigh any reasons you might not have so far. With less maintenance, better production, top of the line efficiency, and industrial level accuracy, 5-Axis CNC tools can do for your company what no else machinery can. Shifting to 5-Axis Machinery is the most practical approach you can take to keep up with the demands of the modern world and delivering exemplary finished products without many hassles.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Norm Grimberg

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