What is 5-Axis Machining?

5-axis machining provides infinite possibilities as to the part sizes and shapes you can effectively process. The term “5-axis” refers to the number of directions in which the cutting tool can move. On a 5-axis machining center, the cutting tool moves across the X, Y and Z linear axes as well as rotates on the A and B axes to approach the workpiece from any direction. We can process five sides of a part in a single setup.

Simultaneous 5-Axis Machining Versus 3 + 2 Machining

In simultaneous 5-axis machining, the machine tool’s three linear axes (X, Y and Z) and two rotational axes (A and B) all engage at the same time to perform complex processing on parts. With 3 + 2, the machine executes a 3-axis milling program with the cutting tool locked in a tilted position using its two rotational axes. The process, also known as 5-axis positional machining, relies on the fourth and fifth axes to orient the cutting tool in a fixed position rather than manipulate it continuously during the machining process. Simultaneous 5-axis technology raises the limits on the types of part geometries we can machine. We can produce highly complex components in a single setup.

5-Axis Machining Benefits:

  • Machine complex shapes in a single setup for increased productivity
  • Less time with less fixture preparation
  • Higher part accuracy because the workpiece does not move across multiple workstations
  • Superior surface finishes and overall better part quality