Five-axis machines enable two types of multi-axis machining operations: full contouring and positioning (a.k.a. 3 + 2 machining). Thought of as siblings, contouring would be the alluring one and 3 + 2 would be more on the homely side. This is because contouring operations feature complex simultaneous motion of all five axes during a cut while 3 + 2 only uses the rotary axes to position and then lock the tool and/or workpiece at different angles outside of the cut.
That said, many shops find great value in 3 + 2. One is Canada’s Moulexpert. It now leverages 3 + 2 to manufacture more reliable and effective molds for thin-walled containers. Among other benefits, this capability has enabled it to reduce setups of mold inserts from as many as 25 to two, as detailed in this story.blog comments powered by Disqus