5 Axis Cnc Machine & 5 Axis Machining Center, Price, Selection

  • 5 Axis CNC machines, such as vertical milling centers, are essential CNC machining equipment; the number of axes and specific construction distinguish it from hobbyist-grade CNC routers and 3-axis. We'll go over the definition, benefits, configuration, cost, and selection of a 5-axis CNC machine in this article. 


    What exactly is a 5 Axis CNC Machine? 

    The 5-axis CNC machine, also known as the 5-axis CNC machining center, comes in a variety of configurations, but it typically includes three axes: X, Y, and Z, as well as two additional axes that rotate around X and Y separately. 5-axis CNC is a high-tech machine tool used for processing complex parts with high accuracy. It frequently provides 5 axis machining parts for aerospace, military, high-precision medical devices, and other critical industries. 5 Axis CNC machines are commonly used to fabricate impellers, marine propellers, turbine blades, steam turbine rotors, engine crankshafts, and other components. The use of a 5 Axis CNC machine can simplify machining processes such as milling and turning. The workpiece and cutting tool on a five-axis CNC machine can move along five different axes at the same time. Tilting the cutting tool or table helps to avoid collisions with the tool holder, provides better access to the part, and extends tool life. 


    Advantages and Drawbacks of 5 Axis CNC 

    Not only can 5 Axis CNC machining process complex geometries and intricate features such as prismatic workpieces, but it can also eliminate additional setups and reduce machining time. It offers the most efficient and versatile manufacturing solution at the lowest possible cost. Furthermore, in the process of five-axis machining, shorter tools can be used, then the tool and tool holder can be tipped away and the cutting can continue more easily, which is important for mold work where tool holder extensions are commonly used to reach deep cavity surfaces. A shorter tool also produces less vibration, has a longer tool life, and produces a better surface finish. Because continuous 5-axis machining does not require stopping and starting between tool reorientations, the speed advantage is obvious. However, the high speed causes easier part collisions and increased wear and tear, posing a greater challenge to CNC programming. 


    Price and Cost of a 5 Axis CNC Machine 

    There is a significant cost difference between 5 Axis CNC and 3 Axis CNC. 5-axis CNC machining necessitates a high level of precision and accuracy, necessitating the use of costly devices such as ultra-precise rotary tables, capable controls, high-performance spindles, and more setups, as well as the construction and operation of the machine itself, all of which contribute to the cost increase. To ensure the machining effects, additional devices such as cooling systems, electrical cabinets, highly responsive servomotors, and servo loops may be added. 


    Prices for 5 axis CNC machines vary depending on brand, capabilities, and other factors, but a 5-axis CNC mill typically costs between $200,000 and $500,000. 


    Configurations and Types of 5 Axis Machining Centers 

    Table-table, head-table, and head-head configurations are all common for 5-axis CNC machines. 


    The first five-axis CNC machine configuration is the trunnion table machine, also known as a table-table configuration. Both rotary axes are contained in the trunnion table and the head is always stationary, moving the piece on the table. This setup is based on a standard 3-axis CNC machine, with the two rotary axes used to position the workpiece in the desired orientation. The trunnion CNC machine has better undercut capabilities, larger work volumes, and excellent speed and stability. 


    The swivel or articulating head machine, which is available in head-head or head table configuration, is the second 5-axis machine configuration. Unlike a trunnion-style, head-head machine, where the head completes all rotations, the table is stationary. The head-table machine, on the other hand, is made up of a tilting head and a rotating table, which allows for the use of shorter or more standard length tooling. Swivel head machines can move the tool head around the block to fit into small spaces. Swiveling the spindle creates rotary axes. This 5 axis CNC machine can machine heavier parts than the trunnion style. Overall, the head-table design is more adaptable than a trunnion or head-head design. Machined components can be larger and heavier. Its table can also be used for multiple vise setups and even machining the part's sixth side. 


    Another distinction between trunnion and swivel style machines is that trunnion-style machines have an A-axis (rotating about the X-axis) and a C-axis (rotating about the Z-axis), whereas swivel-rotate-style machines have a B-axis (rotating about the Y-axis) and a C-axis (rotating about the Z-axis) (rotating about the Z-axis). 


    What Is the Best 5 Axis CNC Machine - 5-Axis CNC Machining Center Selection 

    5-axis CNC machines are primarily used in the industrial world for complex and strong parts; however, if you are a homemaker, you do not need to choose a complicated 5-axis machine. Professional machine shops, on the other hand, should consider the part shape, sizes, materials, technology, requirements, machine capabilities, and other factors when selecting a 5-axis CNC machine. 


    If you need to machine large heavy components, for example, a gantry-style machine or a horizontal machining center may be a good option. Furthermore, higher part precision requirements place greater demands on a machine's construction and motion control system, which includes motors, ram, and other setups. 


    End users prefer reputable suppliers who provide high-quality and premium machines. According to Technavio's report on the global 5-axis CNC machining centers market from 2017 to 2021, Haas Automation, Hurco, Makino, Okuma, and Shenyang Machine Tools are among the leading and prominent manufacturers of CNC machine tools worldwide. These companies offer a diverse range of 5-axis CNC machines with varying specifications, ensuring that you get the best solution for your industry.