What Is 5 Axis CNC Router | 2022 New Guide

When referring to specific 5 axis CNC machining, the first impression most people think of is: high-tech, expensive and difficult to operate, but is 5-axis machining really like this? In this 5 axis CNC router machine buying guide, we mainly include the following questions:

  • What Is 5 Axis?
  • Application Industry of 5-axis CNC Router
  • 5 Axis CNC Router Projects
  • Advantages Of 5-axis CNC Machine Tools
  • How Much Is A 5 Axis CNC Router Machine?
  • 3 Axis vs 4 Axis vs 5 Axis CNC Router
  • Hot Sale For 5 Axis CNC Router

What Is 5 Axis?

“5-axis” usually refers to the ability of a CNC machine tool to move parts or tools on five different CNC axes at the same time. The 3-axis machining center moves the part in two directions (X and Y), and the tool moves in the up and down direction (Z). The 5-axis CNC machining center can rotate on two additional rotating axes (A and B), which helps the cutting tool to approach the part from all directions.

What Is 5 Axis Machining?

5-axis machining is a way of CNC machining. The machining center we usually use is a three-axis machining center. The 3-axis refers to the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis of the machining center. The 5-axis machining center adds two rotation axes to the three common linear axes of X, Y, and Z.

What Can A Five-axis CNC Router Machine Do?

5-axis machine tools are the force multiplier of any machine shop. In the hands of skilled operators, it can create complete parts without changing any settings-basically a complete operation-greatly reducing downtime.

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Application Industry:

Aerospace industry

5-axis CNC machine tools are one of the main CNC machine tools most suitable for the aerospace industry. Since a typical aerospace component complexity, the three-axis or four-axis CNC machine would require multiple steps and re-fixing repositioned so that the cutting head is difficult to process area. Aerospace components also have organic shapes with compound curves, making them ideal for 5-axis machine tools. An example of a compound curve can be found in a turbine blade, which is cast and usually processed by a 5-axis machining center to achieve the final desired shape and surface finish.

Automobile industry

The automotive industry is characterized by high output and high requirements for consistency. From the first to the thousandth, each component needs to fit a specific tolerance every time. Most components in the transportation industry are manufactured using low-cost, high-volume processes such as stamping, injection molding, and casting. However, these cheap and fast technologies require advanced and highly accurate tools, which are ideal applications for 5-axis machining.

Medical industry

Like the aerospace industry, the medical industry has extremely strict requirements on quality.If harmful quality problems, certain medical components may have a direct impact on human health or survival. Some medical components have organic shapes processed from dissimilar materials so that they can be implanted in patients. The 5-axis CNC can process these types of materials as well as the organic shape of this implant.

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Energy industry

In the energy industry, it is the backbone of all other industries. It is huge and contains many different technologies. From coal-fired power stations to centralized solar power systems, to more exotic technologies such as fusion, there is no end to the demand for advanced components, which will push the limits of engineering, materials science, and manufacturing. Because of these strong requirements, a processing system that can reliably produce high-end parts is needed, and this is where the 5-axis machinery came into being. An example of the type of complex component that has emerged in the industry is the plasma containment chamber in a stellar mixing device. The shape of the machine is so complicated and complicated that there is no other way to manufacture them with a five-axis machine.

Industrial sector

The industrial sector includes many other industries not mentioned previously, such as consumer goods manufacturing, mining, construction, etc. Due to the large scale of the industrial sector, for 5-axis machine tools, many complex parts to be manufactured are invaluable. General-purpose CNC machine tools occupy most of the work in this industry, while five-axis machine tools play an auxiliary role in tool manufacturing, mold manufacturing, and special applications. With the advancement of technology and the development of machine learning and AI, existing systems will undergo more optimization and technology. Although advances in additive technology have made it possible to manufacture more complex shapes, the production process is still relatively slow. At least so far, nothing can match the pace and flexibility of a 5-axis machining solution.

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5 Axis CNC Router Projects

Advantages Of 5-axis CNC Machine Tools

The benefits provided by five-axis machining are long. What provides the greatest benefit varies from store to store and from person to person. Here are some advantages:

Five-axis machining saves time

5-axis machining is a common misconception that it is only valid when used in complex parts that require special processing. Although this is the benefit of the additional shaft, it is not the only one.
More than 60% of the parts in the CNC workshop require 5-side machining. Although three-axis machining can complete the task, five-axis machining can complete the task faster and more efficiently.
Unlike three-axis machining, the cutting tool remains tangent to the cutting surface. Each time the tool is used, more material is removed, and reducing the set requirements saves time and cost.

Ability to produce more complex shapes

The biggest advantage of 5-axis machining process must be able to cast complex shapes and parts. This additional movement produces machining angles and arcs, which were previously only possible with a variety of special fixtures or other settings. It provides delivery time one to two weeks, instead of casting two months or longer delivery times.

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Reduce re-fixing

The 5-axis machine can machine almost all visible surfaces, thereby reducing the need for multiple settings or special functions. Due to the range of motion of the cutting head and the additional rotation axis, these machines can reach 5 sides of the part, which means less re-fixation and fewer settings will be required. This not only saves time but also saves costs and operator errors. In addition, when using multiple settings, there is always the possibility of incorrect alignment every time a part is moved.

The reduced labor cost of parts

Each time the machine operator touches the parts, additional costs are incurred. By choosing a 5-axis machine tool, time and subsequent costs can be saved. This in turn reduces labor costs by reducing the time required to re-fix the parts. The less time the operator has to touch the part, the lower the cost.

Better surface finish

Compared with 3-axis machining with good surface finish and longer delivery time, using the 5-axis function on contour geometry can directly obtain a better overall surface finish in a shorter time. The use of shorter tools in 5-axis machining can reduce tool vibration, resulting in higher quality surface finishes. This can reduce or even completely eliminate the need for time-consuming manual processing.

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Feature to feature accuracy

Once the parts removed from the machine and may lose precision alignment, each time setting changes are possible errors. Using the same “zero” or “origin” position means that the accuracy of the feature to the feature can be maintained.

Faster cutting speed

Due to its shorter tool, the five-axis machine tool can get closer to the material, which in turn can achieve higher cutting speeds without putting too much load on the tool. This not only increases tool life but also reduces tool vibration and breakage. The machine also has an additional axis of rotation-compared to traditional CNC machines, drilling compound holes at odd angles are much faster than traditional CNC machines because the head can automatically be oriented along the correct axis for each hole.

Increased opportunities in major markets

When manufacturing complex parts such as turbine blades, impellers, and aerospace fuselages, the five-axis CNC machinery maximizes productivity by shortening the cycle time. Therefore, this efficiency enables manufacturers to successfully compete for business in aerospace, automotive, medical, and other major industries.

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Reduce competition

Although this is a short and fairly simple method, it is important to include it in the list. Not every store has a 5-axis machine tool. By owning a 5-axis machine tool, you have the opportunity to provide customers with features that competitors cannot provide, and this is ultimately what everyone wants.

Improved footprint

By adding a 5-axis machine tool, you can save many other machine tools or change their use, thereby increasing the available space in the workshop. Then, these reused lathes, VMC, or HMC can be used to produce less complex parts, which is more cost-effective.

Improve accuracy and tool life

5-axis machining improves accuracy by reducing the number of settings. More settings mean more room for potential errors. Some work can even be done in a single setup, which greatly reduces the risk of errors.
The shorter the cutting tool, the longer the tool life. The five-axis machine tool can make the machine head closer to the cutter surface. This allows higher cutting speeds to be used, which ultimately reduces vibration and thereby extends tool life.

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How Much Is A 5 Axis CNC Router Machine?

The cost of a five-axis CNC machine tool depends on too many factors, such as XYZ range, position accuracy, and repeatability, accessories, configuration, spindle speed, etc. Buying a 5-axis engraving machine at FORSUN CNC, In accordance with various machine configurations, the price range varies from about $80,000 to $150,000. You can contact customer service staff to get detailed information about the 5 Axis CNC Router, including price, machine specification, configurations, etc.

What Is The Difference Between 3 And 5 axis CNC Machining?

About three-axis machining

Three-axis CNC machining is one of the most common methods for producing mechanical parts. 3-axis machining is used in many industrial fields (and other non-industrial fields such as art and design) and is a relatively simple process of traditional machining. Using a CNC milling machine, 3-axis machining is performed by machining parts from 3 angles (X, Y, and Z) using cutting tools to produce the required parts. These three axes correspond to three dimensions: height, width, and depth.

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About five-axis machining

5-axis machining uses the addition of two other axes to create a 5-dimensional workspace in which parts can be processed. Using standard linear X, Y, and Z axes, and two rotating A and B axes, the machining tool can be rotated. By using this configuration, parts can be machined from 5 angles at a time. This additional feature brings many benefits to both manufacturers and customers, but integration into your existing production process can be confusing or overwhelming.

Comparing complex functions

3-axis machining is a very effective method for producing precision parts, but the 5 machining size instead of the 3 machining size can increase the complexity and accuracy. This allows components that normally must be cast to be machined from solid blocks. If you are looking for a short-term product or prototype, this method may be helpful. 5-axis machine tools tend to use shorter cutting tools, which reduces tool vibration (accuracy has also been improved) and helps achieve higher quality. The use of shorter cutting tools also means that the processing head can be aligned with the workpiece, thereby reducing the load weight of the component. This helps to extend tool life and reduce the risk of damage.

Time and material efficiency comparison

By adding two additional axes, the five-axis machine tool can process with higher precision, so it generates less waste and waste. Despite the addition of two additional dimensions, the cycle time of the five-axis machine tool has been reduced by more than 20%. This is because the machine has the ability to work from 5 angles at a time, and there is no need to manually move the workpiece between two cycles. When programming a 5-axis machine tool, it does require more setup time for the additional two axes, but the time saved (in our opinion) due to the function of the machine tool is worth the additional setup time.

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Compare costs and savings

The biggest reason why many manufacturers are reluctant to switch to 5-axis machining is cost. Due to the increased complexity and technology, the initial purchase cost of a 5-axis machine tool is higher than that of a 3-axis machine tool. Although this may be a disadvantage, five-axis machine tools will save more money in the form of waste in the long run, shorten cycle times, and because shorter cutting tools provide higher cutting speeds, they require no maintenance. For components that require increased complexity, five-axis machining will save a lot of time and allow you to produce more components in a shorter time.

Which is better?

In the final analysis, 5-axis and 3-axis machining have their advantages and disadvantages. Although 5-axis machining can provide higher functionality and higher overall efficiency, some components do not require an additional 2-axis at all. For example, in 3 + 2 machining, as opposed to direct machining, the other 2 axes are used to position the workpiece or cutting tool. This means that all 5 axes do not need to move at the same time. In short, there is no specific answer. We provide engraving machines for organizations in many industries, so if you have questions about CNC machining, you can contact our team.

Learn more: 3 Axis vs 4 Axis vs 5 Axis CNC Router

Hot Sale For 5 Axis CNC Router


Whether you think five-axis machining is suitable for your factory, or are interested in technology, the above article hopes to be helpful to you. To help visualize which type of machine tool is best for your store, please browse our product details page, or contact us for free, we will reply to you as soon as possible.

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