5-SIDED CNC VS. SIMULTANEOUS 5-AXIS CNC
There are pros and cons to both 5-sided CNC machining and 5-axis CNC machining.
5-SIDED CNC (3+2)
- Simple to program
- Cuts faster
- Fewer concerns about tool interference
- Excellent roughing strategy
SIMULTANEOUS 5-AXIS CNC (FULL 5-AXIS)
- Better surface finish
- Longer tool life
- Allows tool to reach difficult places smoothly
- Impressive but slow – avoid if possible
Basics of axis configuration
To understand machine configurations, it’s important to understand the basic terminology of 5-axis machining centers. If you think in terms of a 3-axis machining center, it has an X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis. With a 5-axis machining center, the additional rotary axes will rotate about two of those three primary axes.
The axis that rotates about or under the Z-axis is called the C-axis.
The axis that rotates about the Y-axis is called the B-axis.
The axis that rotates about the X-axis is called the A-axis.