5-axis machines, sometimes called machine control or CNC machines, are tools that operate in a fully automated manner. They can be used in a variety of operations, from intricate work such as a chair mold for a seat, to less intricate work such as cutting metal staples for wall anchors. Many of the tools used in this type of machinery are powered by a motor. The motor provides power, direction and accuracy for these machines.
CNC machines, as they are more commonly known, come in two varieties: direct and indirect. A CNC machine operates with one or more axes, allowing for a greater degree of precision in its work. The two types of axes are x and y, along with a variety of hand-held devices used with them. These machines are used in CNC milling machines, router machines, and lathes. There are also automated systems that provide a full range of operations, including surface adjustment, grinding, turning, and cutting.
A CNC milling machine is designed with high accuracy in mind. Some of the machines use software to guide the workpiece through various stages of operation, and therefore have more precise setup than do manually operated systems. For instance, a typical CNC 5-axis machining setup will allow for a much finer shaper than is achievable with a lathe or router. Computer assisted design (CAD) have revolutionized how many companies design their product sets, because CAD also controls the exact programmable actions that the parts take during manufacture. The precision of a computer aided design program is truly remarkable.
Another way to improve your 5-axis machine performance is to upgrade your tool set-up. With so many possible combinations of drivers, commands and computer commands, the right set up can make a big difference in the performance of your machine. You may not need to change all of your hardware, but if you are experiencing a significant decrease in the number of passes over a certain area or a specific feature, it may be time to replace some of your hardware. This can give you better access to the work piece, and consequently achieve more complicated or difficult applications.
An important thing to note about CNC machining is that the machines can be set to alternate two axes: the X and Y axes. By doing this, the machine can bevel between the two axes at a faster or slower rate, which produces a smoother, softer cut. For example, an operator may set the machine to alternate the X and Y axes for precision milling. This type of operation can be useful when you are making parts that are very delicate. The operator can set the machine to cut at a faster rate on the Y axis, while allowing the X axis to spin at a slower speed. This approach allows the cutting tool to bevel between the two axes at a constant velocity.
A final way to improve accuracy is to perform a “tangent” test on the machine’s X and Y axis. In this test, the tungsten carbide piece is pushed into the feed roller with a tangent rail. If the feed roller does not wobble, the machine is accurate enough to make the required cuts. In this way, it is possible to improve precision with even a small amount of machine downtime.