5-Axis Routing Machine is also called as the Multiaxes machine. Multiaxis machining is a manufacturing process, where computer numerically controlled tools that move in 4 or more ways are used to manufacture parts out of metal or other materials by milling away excess material, by water jet cutting or by laser cutting. Typical CNC tools support translation in 3 axes; multiaxis machines also support rotation around one or multiple axes.
There are now many CAM (computer aided manufacturing) software systems available to support multiaxis machining including software that can automatically convert 3-axes toolpaths into 5-axes toolpaths.
Multiaxis machines offer several improvements over other CNC tools at the cost of increased complexity and price of the machine:
* Amount of work is reduced, if the piece would otherwise have to be turned manually during the machining.
* Better surface finish can be obtained by moving the tool tangentially about the surface.
* More complex parts can be manufactured, particularly parts with curved holes.
Number of axes for multiaxis machines varies from 4 to 9. Each axis of movement is implemented either by moving the table (into which the workpiece is attached), or by moving the tool. The actual configuration of axes varies; therefore machines with the same number of axes can differ in the movements that can be performed.
The major benefit of five-axis machining is the ability to machine complex shapes in a single set-up. This gives greater machining productivity compared to performing the job in a series of set ups, as well as significantly reducing the time and cost of preparing fixtures. Furthermore, with multiple set-ups, there is always a possibility of incorrect alignment each time the part is moved.
Another important advantage of five-axis machining is that it enables shorter cutting tools to be used since the head can be lowered towards the job and the cutter oriented towards the surface. As a result, higher cutting speeds can be achieved without putting excessive load on the cutter, so increasing tool life and reducing breakages.
The use of shorter cutters also reduces the vibration of the tool that can result when machining deep cores or cavities with three-axis machines. This allows a higher quality surface finish to be obtained, so reducing, or even eliminating, the need for time-consuming hand finishing.
Five-axis machining can give also huge time savings in the drilling of holes. While this may seem trivial in comparison to the difficulty of machining a complex core or cavity, drilling a series of holes with different compound angles is extremely time consuming. If a three-axis machine is used, a different set-up must be used for each hole. With a five-axis machine, the head can be oriented along the correct axis for each hole automatically, allowing drilling to be completed much more quickly.
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