Home › Forums › CNC Technology › What should I watch for when buying a used 5 axis VMC?
Tagged: 5 axis VMC
- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Mike James.
April 11, 2022 at 7:30 am #1596cnctimeParticipant
I’m looking to buy a used 5 axis machine and would like any suggestions on how to inspect one of these machines differently from a 3 axis machine.April 11, 2022 at 7:42 am #1599Jake AbleParticipant
You should inspect it as if it were a three-axis machine, then check the rotational precision. For example, inspect the site of a bore, then turn 180 and verify the location. A good check is to zero a surface, then rotate it 90 degrees and check the squareness. You should be able to check every 90 degrees if you have a flat rectangle to get a good notion of the accuracy. A simultaneous 5 axis cone type move also demonstrates accuracy, however most people use the 5 for 3+2.April 11, 2022 at 7:43 am #1600Jake AbleParticipant
Make sure you fully comprehend its geometry – that is, will the parts you care about fit when you add workholding and tooling? It’s typical to hear 5-axis machines described in ways that lead to misunderstandings about what size parts may be manufactured to fit. (For example, a UMC 1000 is accurately defined as 40×25, but the rotating table and trunnion prevent you from swinging a 40″ item, so it’d be more accurate to call it 25×25 – unless the part is elevated high enough, in which case it’ll be like 32×32….)April 17, 2022 at 11:48 am #1625Mike JamesParticipant
5-axis machines use a tool that can travel in five directions: X, Y, and Z, as well as A and B, which the tool revolves around. Operators may approach a part from all directions in a single operation with a 5-axis CNC machine, eliminating the need to manually move the workpiece between operations. 5-axis CNC machining reduces time and is perfect for producing complex and precise parts in industries such as medicine, oil & gas, and aerospace. Product teams should be aware of several distinct types of 5-axis machines, including indexed 5-axis CNC machines, continuous 5-axis CNC machines, and mill-turning CNC centers.
In indexed 5-axis CNC machining, the cutting tool only moves in three axes, similar to 3-axis CNC milling, and does not maintain continuous contact with the workpiece. The machining table and tool head, on the other hand, can swivel in two directions automatically between operations. Housings, jigs, and fixtures can all benefit from indexed 5-axis machining. In terms of speed, precision, and the capacity to handle complex geometries, it lies midway between 3-axis CNC milling and continuous 5-axis CNC machining.
The cutting tool and the workpiece can rotate and move simultaneously during continuous 5-axis CNC machining, saving time and allowing operators to create complicated designs with organic surfaces. Continuous 5-axis CNC machining improves surface smoothness, speed, and dimensional stability, but the cost-per-part is the greatest.
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