5 Axis CNC Machines

5 axis CNC machines refer to CNC machining in which the machine (either the cutting spindle, the workholding surface, or both) is capable of moving along five axis. This is usually defined by machining equipment manufacturers as the ability to move along the traditional X, Y, and Z axis (back and forth, side to side, up and down) as well as the ability to rotate along the X and Y axis. 5 axis CNC machines are commonly used throughout machine shops for contract manufacturing.

5 Axis CNC Machine Manufacturers

CMS North America is a US manufacturer of machining equipment suitable for machining metals, stone, wood, glass and other advanced materials. CMS provides 5 axis CNC machine solutions for manufacturing as well as complete machining center solutions from glass cutting tables to horizontal and vertical machining centers. CMS North America offers standard CNC machining centers as well as customized solutions for unique problems.

Advantages of 5 Axis Machining

The kinds of parts and components that can be manufactured with a 5 axis CNC machine could also be created with a simpler 3 axis CNC machine. The advantages of the 5 axis machine come in the form of efficiency and increased accuracy.

The 5 axis CNC machines are more efficient than more basic machines for complex machining production runs. While a CNC machine operating on fewer axis could still machine the part, it would require multiple set-ups, requiring more time from machinists and a slower rate of production. A 5 axis CNC machine is capable of creating incredibly complex parts with no human intervention in the middle of the machining process.

5 axis CNC machines are also more accurate for complex jobs. Any time that a separate setup is required for machining the same part some amount of accuracy is lost because you are no longer using the same zero or datum reference frame for the entire machining run. Once the frame changes some amount of error is inevitably introduced into the manufacturing process.

For some types of machining processes this kind of error is perfectly acceptable, since the error amount can be very small indeed with a skilled machinist. However for many very complex, intricate, or precise parts the amount of error introduced by needing a second or more setups is greater than the tolerance of the specifications, and thus the parts cannot be manufactured to spec without the use of a 5 axis CNC machine.

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