With many years of experience in the field of 5 axis machining. We wrote this article to help you learn about 5 axis CNC milling machines. Advantages and disadvantages of each type of machine and the application of each type to process products effectively with the lowest investment cost.

I. What is 5 axis CNC machine?

– As we all know, a 3-axis CNC machine is a computer-controlled machine tool that can control the cutter to move forward in the X, Y, and Z directions
cnc machine coordinate system– By common convention, if the axis of motion rotates around the X-axis, it is called the A-axis, the axis that rotates around the Y-axis is called the B-axis, and the rotation axis that rotates around the Z-axis is called the C-axis. , the CNC machine manufacturer may change the axis order definition for its own purposes. In this article, we will follow the general convention.
– So: A 5 axis CNC machine is a computer-controlled machine tool that can control the cutter to move in the X, Y, and Z directions and rotate around 2 axes in 3D space. With this addition, the 5-axis CNC machine can process hidden contour areas that the 3 axis CNC milling machine cannot process. In addition, some 5 axis bed milling CNC machines can add 1 translational axis in the Z direction (W axis) to expand the machining technology capabilities. We can call this milling machine a 5 axis plus CNC machine.

II. Type of 5 axis CNC milling machines

– We can classify 5 axis CNC milling machines based on the rotation axis arranged at the table or on the CNC machine spindle. Each type will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the type of part to be processed, we will choose a 5 axis CNC machine to suit our needs

1. Two rotary axes in the table

– This is the most popular 5-axis CNC milling machine today. Like its name suggests. The rotation of the 2 axes is located in the table. Because the two spindles are located on the machine table, this machine is suitable for processing small, lightweight parts. We can take for example the HAAS UMC 500 CNC machine as shown below.

HAAS UMC500 5 axis CNC milling machine center
– With this 5 axis CNC milling machine. Table size 508 mm. We can process parts with a size of about 686 mm and a maximum mass of 300 kg. Even with the largest machine of this type of HAAS, the 5 axis CNC milling machineHAAS UMC 1250, the part size that can be machined is 991 mm and the maximum weight that can be put on the table is 454 kg.
– The advantage of this 5 axis CNC milling machine is compact, similar to 3 axis CNC milling machines, so it is easy to operate, install, and easy to program 5 axis machining. The price is cheaper than other types. Moreover, due to the compact structure, the axis of rotation of CNC milling machines of this type can be extended to 120 degrees. Helps us to expand our machining capabilities. Therefore, if the part size to be processed is small. This type of 5 axis CNC milling machine is the most suitable for us to invest in.
– In addition, with the advancement of engine manufacturing technology, manufacturers have integrated motors directly connected to the shaft without gears (Direct drive). This makes it possible for us to turn on a 5 axis CNC milling machine.
– For example, we can take for example a 5 axis CNC milling machine Brother M300X3 with a C-axis that can turn at a speed of 1500 rpm. Even with the Brother M200X3 series, the spindle speed is 2000 rpm.
five axis cnc machine center brother M300X3
Brother M300X3. 5 axis milling machine

2. Two rotary axes on the spindle head

– This series of machines has two main types: a machine with a rotary A-axis and a B-axis, and a machine with a rotary A-axis or a B-axis combined with a C-axis. The reason we divide it into two more small categories is for you. You can the specification of each type.
– The common advantage of the two machine lines is that we can process parts with a much larger size and volume than a five axis CNC machine with two rotating axes under the table. The disadvantage is the high cost, setup, and programming of this type of machine is more difficult.

a. Rotary A-axis and B-axis

– For example, this machine line we can take for example the OKK KCV 1000 five axis CNC machine center. The feature of this machine is that it has two rotating axes connected to the Z-axis, so it is very sturdy. It can be said that this is the most solid 5 axis machining. Very suitable for machining hard materials such as Stainless steel, Titanium, Inconel…- The disadvantage of this machine is the small travel limit on the A-axis and the B-axis (about +-35 degrees). Should be limited in machining technology. To overcome this, some companies install additional rotary tables in the machine table to overcome this drawback.

OKK KCV 1000. 5 axis CNC milling machine

b. Rotary A-axis or B-axis combined with C-axis

– This type of machine overcomes the disadvantages of the A-axis and B-axis machines. The A-axis or B-axis has a large rotation angle (up to 110 degrees) and the C-axis can rotate infinitely.
– In addition, the great advantage of this machine is that we can combine it with a 90-degree milling head (90-degree angle head) to further expand the technological possibilities. Because the two axes are far from the chassis, this machine is less stable than the 5 axis CNC machine with the A-axis combined with the B-axis. For example, this machine can include the SNK 5 axis CNC milling machine.RB 200F

five axis CNC milling machine SNK RB 200F

3. Rotary axis at the machine head and a rotary axis in the table

This machine is a combination of the two models above. Only the C-axis located under the table allows us to machine much heavier work than models with two rotary axes locate in the table. At the same time, the C-axis in the table allowed us to process many parts at once by installing Tombstone on the machine table- Representing this type of machine we can mention the DMG 5-axis CNC milling machine line. Mori DMU 80P duoBLOCK. Although the machining size is similar to the HAAS UMC 1250 machine, the weight that the machine can handle is up to 1800 kg. Much larger than the HAAS UMC 1250 machine with only 454 kg
5 axis cnc machine center Mori DMU 125
five axis CNC milling machine DMG Mori DMU 80P duoBLOCK

III. Vertical and Horizontal 5 Axis CNC Milling Machine

– In addition to the three classifications above. If the main axis is horizontal, it is called a horizontal 5 axis CNC milling machine. If the spindle is placed vertically, it is called a vertical 5 axis CNC milling machine.
– We present these two more types to help you understand more about the function of horizontal and vertical machines. It is no coincidence that people design into two types.
– For the vertical 5 axis CNC milling machine, when cutting, it is difficult for the chip to fall out of the working position. Sometimes you have to stop the machine to collect the chips and then continue machining. For horizontal machines such as the horizontal 5-axisMAKINO MAG 5-axis CNC milling machine, the vertical table allows the chip to fall out of the machining area due to gravity.
– So, if we need to do 5-axis batch machining, there is no need for a janitor. A horizontal 5 axis CNC milling machine is a must-have choice.

5 axis CNC milling machine center Makino Mag 3.

IV. Conclusion

– With the above sharing, we hope to be able to help you understand the types of 5 axis CNC milling machines as well as the applications of each type. Need advice on machining technology or quoting ? Please contactus immediately for support

V. Contact HESEM Precision Machining Factory

– Address: Lot O3, 10 Street, Song Than 1 Industrial Park, Di An City, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam
– Phone: (+84)985994010
– Email: vannguyen@hesem.com.vn
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