Metal Cutting

Five-Axis Machining Centers

Five-Axis Machining Centers do not just move in the linear axes X, Y and Z. Instead, these machines also move in two rotary axes, often identified as A and B. The rotary axes tilt the tool with respect to the part. Physically, it can be either the tool that tilts or the part that tilts. Different machines accomplish the rotary motion in different ways. Some machines move the rotary axes only to position the tool or work outside of the cut. This is referred to as 3+2 machining. Moving the tool in this way dramatically increases the machining center’s access to features at different angles or on different faces of the part. A machine capable of 3+2 machining often can reach all of the machined features of the part in a single setup. True five-axis machining refers to the ability to not just position the tool along the rotary axes, but also to feed the tool through the cut using these axes. Interpolated combinations of A-axis, B-axis and linear axis motions can allow the tool to smoothly follow a contoured surface. This type of machining has long been important in the aerospace industry, where machined parts follow the aerodynamic forms of aircraft.

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Targeted Five-Axis Machining


Focusing on a particular part size range allows this shop to use a versatile type of five-axis machine tool. Five-axis machining now makes up 40 percent of the shop’s business.

Shop Leaders Share Thoughts on Five-Axis Machining


Modern Machine Shop recently started a “Top Shops” discussion group on LinkedIn. The group is for owners, managers, engineers and other senior personnel in CNC machining facilities. A recent discussion thread from that group revealed various shops’ thoughts on five-axis machining.

Otherworldly Precision


A contract shop produces critical parts for the Curiosity rover that will soon depart for Mars.

Corner finishing

An Overview Of 3 + 2 Machining


You don't have to use all five axes of a five-axis machine at the same time to get great benefits. Here's what 3 + 2 can do for you.



A variety of machining centers highlighted in Modern Machine Shop's April product spotlight

Product Spotlight Slideshow: Machining Centers

By: Stephanie Monsanty
Every print issue of MMS highlights a particular type of product. For March, we focused on VMCs, HMCs and other machining centers.

GF Machining Solutions’ Mikron HEM 500U milling machine offers efficient five-axis capabilities in a compact footprint. The machine is designed to fit in tight areas with an accessible structure that enables workpieces to be loaded and unloaded with a forklift, rather than a crane.

March 2014 Product Spotlight: Machining Centers

By:
This slideshow features the machining centers we cover in the Modern Equipment Review Spotlight section in our March issue.

3 + 2 machining

Why a Few Degrees Matter

By: Derek Korn
3 + 2 machining might not be as captivating as five-axis contouring operations, but it can be just as valuable.

driven tooling at Von Ruden Manufacturing must hold a tolerance of one or two tenths

Shop Gains Efficiency through Machinery, Software Pairing

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
By pairing a multitasking machine with new Esprit CAM software from DP Technology, Von Ruden Manufacturing was able to increase its efficiency and compete with companies of a larger size.

GibbsCAM MultiBlade for five-axis machining

Job Shop Thrives on Specialized Software

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
ABEN Machine Products reduced programming times by integrating five-axis machining with GibbsCAM software.


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