Because of the need to machine complex parts, 5-axis machining has become a mainstay in the aerospace and defense industries, and advancements in software and machining centers have made the process economical and practical in a growing number of applications, particularly high-tech automotive, medical, mold and die and electronics machining.
Five-axis machines cut complicated shapes, such as engine turbine blades, that require toolpaths that follow undercuts and other nonlinear shapes.
These shapes can be generated quickly and with less labor because a 5-axis machine can be programmed to work on five sides of a workpiece without resetting the fixture.
This is accomplished by adding rotary motion in the A axis via a workpiece mounted on a rotary table and rotary in the B axis via a machine’s trunnion table to the machine’s linear X-,Yand Z-motions.
The rotary motions of the additional axes allow for a wide range of cutter toolpaths and the depth at which it cuts without increasing tool length.