Types of Fifth axis Machining
5-axis machining offers unlimited possibilities as far as the various tooling sizes and shapes that you can easily process are concerned. The term 5-axis refers to how the cutting tool is moved over the X, Y and Z axes. On a 5-axis machining machine, the cutting implement moves over the X, Y and Z axes in succession as well as rotating on the A and B axis to arrive at the workpiece in any direction. A further two-dimensional variation of this method is often used called the rotary cut. This type of five-axis tooling system is also suitable for stamping operations.
The operation of a cutting tool is optimally executed if it is able to make the best possible connection between X, Y and Z axes. The three types of axis machining are discussed in this context. The first axis is the positive X axis, which is the axis which is moved during operation. This is the simplest form of five-axis operation, since only the tool head is moved. The operation continues when the toolhead is moved in one plane by means of a follower. In the case of the negative X axis, the tool head rotates over a stationary axis.
Another form of operation is the rotary screw machine, also known as the screw pump. In this machine, an impeller produces a rotary motion within a housing on which ball bearings are spun. This type of five-axis machining is suitable for making hollow shafts and blocks. The main drawback with these machines is that they are limited in terms of the depth they can work. If a sufficient amount of material is required to be cut, a more powerful motor or drill than the one fitted to these machines is needed. Rotary screw machines are available in a variety of sizes.
Fifth axis machining employs a variation of the screw pump to produce a different type of material than the rotary screw machines. In this case, a semi-circularly shaped disc is spun on a vertical axis, thus simulating a drill. It has the longest tool path and hence is useful for producing intricate tool paths and holes. Fifth axis machines are available in various sizes but the longest tool path is not as advantageous as the rotation.
The most important aspect for Fifth axis machining is the speed at which the machine tool runs. A faster machine tool will be able to create quicker holes. The type of material used is also important, since a material with high wear resistance will reduce splintering. A final consideration is the type of feed rate. High feed rates occur when the material is heated up quickly, which is a waste of time.
Fifth axis machines can have either a direct or an indirect feed setup. A direct feed setup allows the operator to handle the work piece directly. Indirect feed setup puts the workpiece into a gearbox, which then transfers the mechanical energy into the tool. Both of these feed rates are suitable for different types of projects.