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5 Axis Machining 101: How It Works

5 axis machiningMetal fabrication is a complicated process that requires both experienced labor and high quality machinery. The major benefit of 5 axis machining is the ability to machine couples shapes in a single set-up, subsequently providing greater machining productivity and making the entire task more time efficient.

In simpler terms, a block of material is manipulated until the unnecessary bits have been removed and the target object is all that’s left. Hopefully this will help you better understand how 5 axis machining is used within the metal fabrication industry.

5 Axis CNC Machining — Computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing uses a multiaxis machining software system to support the milling away of access material by either water jet cutting or laser cutting. With these precision CNC machining services, the amount of human labor is drastically reduced for each milling task, a more precise surface finish can be obtained, and much more complex parts can be manufactured.

A 5 axis CNC machine simultaneously moves a tool to perform a milling job and remove excess material from an object. However, 3 axis machining only moves a part in two directions while the tool moves up and down. The number of axes for multi axis machines can range from 2 to 9, with 5 being the most common.

The 5 Axes Configurations — A 5 axis machine’s specific configuration determines which rotational ages (of the three) it will utilize during a milling task. A common style of 5 axis machinery operates with an A-axis rotating about the X-axis and a C-axis rotating about the Z-axis. Consequently, a swivel-rotate-style axis machine operates with a B-axis rotating about the Y-axis and a C-axis rotating about the Z-axis.

Getting The Most Out of 5 Axis Machining — Since 5 axis capabilities are often under-utilized across various industries, it’s important to use high quality equipment and take excellent care of its maintenance needs.

“Some may have the machine but not understand it’s full capability, or they may not have the software that’s needed to create a cutting program that would utilize the machine’s full capabilities,” said Mike Finn, Mazak America’s industrial applications engineering manager. “When you’re doing high-speed 5-axis machining, the servo drives on the machine and the response time is very important to avoid shortcutting or overshooting when machining.”

If you want to learn more about how 5 axis machining can help your company, or find some of the best sheet metal fabrication Pennsylvania has to offer, contact York Haven Fabricators today.


FAQ: Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining

cnc machining companyComputer numerical control (CNC) machining is an integral part of various industries, from the military to automakers and energy companies. If your business is working alongside a quality CNC machining company, then it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the sheet metal fabrication industry.

While we can’t teach you everything there is to know about this complex process in a single blog post, we can give you the basic resources you need to work well with a precision sheet metal fabrication company. Here are a few frequently asked questions about understanding precision CNC machining services, sheet metal fabrication, and industrial metal uses.

What type of metal is used most in the industry?
When it comes to the manufacturing industry, industrial sheet metal is the most commonly used type of metal.

How long has sheet metal been in use?
According to most scholars, sheet metal was first implemented for industrial use between 5,000 and 4,000 B.C. As far as CNC machining and other modern precision fabricating machines are concerned, however, they were introduced after the Second World War. With advancements in computer and laser technology, machining tools have gotten more and more precise.

How does the sheet metal industry affect U.S. employment?
Currently, fabricated metals, in terms of employment, are responsible for the third largest manufacturing industry throughout the United States. As of 2015, the most common metal fabrication profession is a machinist.

Has sheet metal improved over the years?
Sheet metal is much more durable today than it was just 10 years ago, let alone 5,000 years ago. Over the last decade, for example, steel parts have become much more dent resistant and are even up to 30% stronger.

How much metal is recycled every year?
Though there are numerous uses for sheet metal across various industries, these metals are easily recycled as well. Approximately 69% of all waste steel is recycled every year across North America, making it one of the most commonly recycled materials on the planet.

What does the future look like for the metal fabrication industry?
The need for sheet metal will likely never go away. By the year 2020, it’s projected that the international metal fabrication equipment market will grow by nearly 7%. Because the military, automobile companies, energy companies, and even medical companies rely on sheet metal, the industry is proving resistant to other negative trends in the manufacturing sector.

These are just a few common questions we’ve heard at our CNC machining company over the years. If you want to learn more about the sheet metal industry, 5 axis machining, or speak with a credible CNC machining company, contact York Haven Fabricators today.


Sire Custom Performance Film Documentary

Here is a short documentary about Los Angeles based automotive fabricator Yannick Sire. A true artist in his field, he created a twin engine monster from scratch, with spare parts, and no computer aided design, in his garage.