While some may still think of five-axis machining largely in the context of geometrically complex aerospace, medical and energy parts, there is a strong argument for using this technology in a much wider range of applications. Even if you’re not machining contoured surfaces, being able to get at more part features in a single setup can pay big dividends in better machine utilization, reduced setups and cycle times, and improved quality. No doubt, a five-axis machine is more expensive than a typical VMC, but the value of these benefits is substantial, and they will enable your shop to more cost-efficiently produce a wider range of work.
Moving to five-axis machining is not just about picking the right machine tool. For a truly efficient process, you also need to understand the best approaches to part programming, workholding, cutting tools and more.