Today’s multi-axis CNC machines provide greater production efficiency and higher precision for manufacturing complex parts. These types of products generally come with extremely close tolerances, intricate designs, and difficult-to-achieve geometries.
While conventional 3-axis CNC machines may struggle to produce these parts – requiring lengthy, highly involved setup procedures and custom fixturing – our 4-axis and 5-axis machining services provide us with much more flexibility and manufacturing freedom.
What Is Multi-Axis CNC Machining?
Multi-axis machining is a specialized form of CNC machining which can move the metal cutting tool in four or more axes relative to the workpiece. Typically, “multi-axis” is used interchangeably with “5-axis”, though 4-axis CNC machines will also commonly be referred to as multi-axis systems.
Multi-axis machining is contrasted with typical or conventional CNC machines which only move the cutting tool in three axes. As you can probably imagine, the ability to position the tooling in an additional one or two planes allows us to achieve custom machined shapes of far more complexity. Multi-axis machining services can also substantially simplify the overall machining process by removing the need for workpiece repositioning and/or custom fixturing.
The Advantages of Multi-Axis / 5-Axis CNC Machining Services:
Reduced Setup Time and Complexity
Conventional 3-axis machines often require numerous setups to achieve complex part geometry. The process is stopped so that the workpiece can be removed, rotated, and repositioned, giving the tooling access to additional faces. Multi-axis machines eliminate these steps in many cases, because the tooling itself can reposition as necessary.
3+2 Machining and Less Custom Fixturing
Custom fixtures are generally used to rigidly hold the workpiece in position as it is machined. 3-axis machines often require numerous custom fixtures to hold the workpiece at numerous angles and achieve the desired geometry. Similar to the elimination of multiple setups, 5-axis CNC machines can eliminate the need for fixturing by employing 3+2 machining techniques. In 3+2 machining, the machine itself essentially serves as the fixture. 3-axis machining is performed while the workpiece is rotated in the additional two axes.
Faster Cycle Times for Rapid Turnaround
Multi-axis machining allows for more precise positioning of the cutting tool relative to the workpiece, facilitating faster processing times. For example, the cutting tool can be positioned tangentially to the surface to maximize material removal for each pass. This cutting efficiency allows for faster cycle times, and ultimately quicker turnaround for your custom machined products.
Superior Multi-Axis CNC Milling Capabilities:
- Horizontal (500mm) machining centers with 28.74” x 28.74” x 31.5” travels
- Full simultaneous 5-axis milling capabilities with travels up to 31” x 31” x 31”
- Full simultaneous 4-axis milling with travels up to 90.5”
- Vertical machining centers with travels up to 120”
- Smaller CNC’s dedicated to production runs of several hundred pieces
- Larger capability milling equipment for special small quantity orders
Superior Quality for Highly Complex, Precision-Machined Parts
In addition to our complete multi-axis milling capabilities, Superior’s facility includes an integrated inspection department, fully equipped with the precision testing tools to back up our precision manufacturing services. A highly reliable American manufacturer, our company strives for zero non-conforming products to be released to our clients. Our certifications in ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100 are further proof of our commitment to superior quality, consistency, and customer service.