CNC machining is a process in manufacturing where computer software directs the motion of tools and machinery. CNC can be applied to a wide array of industrial manufacturing processes as it can readily automate them. It is important to note here that milling, laser cutting and water jetting instructions can be fed to a CNC machine.
Note that all this information is fed via a CAD file into a precise set of sequential commands. The CNC machine uses these programmed commands to operate automatically without the need of a physical operator. To be precise, there are various benefits associated with the CNC machines.
From reduction in expenses to better accuracy, a CNC machine is an integral part of any large-scale industry. Taking digitized data, a computer or a CAM program is usually utilized to monitor and automate the machine movements. In case of a large-scale industry, the computer is in the form of an on-board dedicated controller. The CNC controller works in cohesion with an array of motors and drives various parts which results in the movement of machine axes and other programmed motions.
Nowadays, most CNC machines are equipped with sophisticated feedback systems which continuously monitor and adjust the speed and position of the cutter.
How many axes can a CNC machine have?
The reference to axes is used to describe CNC machines which function along several axis points. You should always remember that CNC machining is the process of removing material from a piece until the desired outcomes have been attained. In usual cases, a CNC machine has a minimum of 3 axes which operates along the XYZ plane. X axis denotes the vertical plane, Y axis denotes the horizontal plane and Z axis represents depth.
To be precise, the 4th axis represents the addition of the A axis which rotates around X. On the other hand, the 5th axis represents the B axis which rotates around Y.
In a CNC machine, the number of axes usually portrays the variety of work it can accomplish. The number of axes also tells a lot about how detail it can cut a work piece and the locations it can control. The number of axes also depends upon the type of machine. In case of a usual mill machine, you would usually find there are 3 axes. These machines are also known as machining or processing centers. Lathe machine comprises two axes along with a main spindle where the part is affixed for rotation. But nowadays as technology is getti9ng diversified, you can witness lathe machines possessing extra milling heads.
How many axes do you need in your CNC Machine?
The amount of axes you need in your CNC machine usually depends on the type of task you have at your hand. Whether you are working with a marble or milling a blisk from titanium, the basic principle always remains the same. The details of the process are complex and that is why you need a CNC machine equipped with various axes. So here is the list which depicts the number of axes your CNC machine should have.
3-axis machining refers to the fact that the work piece stays in the same position while the cutting tool works along the XYZ plane. In this manner, the cutting tool trims the material. This sort of axes arrangement is ideal in those situations where you don’t want a lot of detailing and depth. It is important here to note that 3-axis machining is most commonly used for drilling holes, slots milling and cutting along the sharp edges. The centers of a 3-axis machining are stationary and are adept in creating the same products when compared to 4-axis and 5-axis machines.
4-axis machining usually refers to the fact that a work piece would be processed in the same manner as it would be with a 3-axis machine. However, it comprises an additional rotary movement along the X-axis which is also known by the A-axis. With the help of this rotation, the workpiece can be cut around the B-axis. This method is also quite important when you want holes and incisions on both sides of the material you are working on. From the discussion, you can guess that this type of machining is quite functional. As it can remove material from both the sides, it can be used for intermittent cutting, engraving and unremitting cutting.
As evident from the name itself, a 5-axis CNC machine can be automatically manipulated from five sides at a single time. In addition to movements along the X, Y and Z axes, this type of machine can also choose two of the three rotational axes. The three rotational axes are also denoted by A-axis, B-axis and C-axis. These three additional axes together can perform a 180-degree rotation around the X, Y and Z axes. It is important here to note that this type of machining is normally used for engraving and milling specialized surfaces where expertise is of great importance.
This is the reason that they are most commonly used in boating, aerospace and automobile industries. Also, 5-axis machining is crucial when you need to pay a great deal of attention to quick precision and intricacy. Operating a 5-axes CNC machine also needs a great deal of programming. It is typically used in situations where you need to craft complex machine shapes. It renders higher quality finishes and increases the productivity of a manufacturing plant phenomenally.
There is no doubt that CNC machining is operationally beneficial across an array of manufacturing industries. The number of axes a CNC machine has usually depicts its capabilities. It is also vital here to note that one needs to be fluent in CAM and CAD technology to program the CNC machines to perform a wide variety of tasks. The number of axes usually determines the type of movement a CNC machine can perform.