Blue Elephant

5 Axis CNC Router

Position: Home > CNC Router > 5 Axis CNC Router

5 Axis CNC Router

As advanced CNC equipment, 5 axis CNC machining center or CNC router is designed specifically for complex curved surfaces. It is widely used in aviation, aerospace, automotive, military, scientific research, precision instruments, high-precision medical equipment, and other industries. It can process an extensive range of materials, such as wood, stones, plastic, styrofoam, composites, etc.

5 Axis CNC Router Related Video

What is 5 axis CNC machining?

Five axis CNC machining refers to the CNC processing in which the tools can work in 5 different directions simultaneously. Compared with the basic 3 axis machining, the five-axis CNC machining is more flexible and variable. The 5 axes refer to X+Y+Z+A (rotates around X)+B (rotates around Y), X+Y+Z+A+C (rotates around Z), or X+Y+Z+B+C.

Blue Elephant mainly provides the 5 axis CNC router machine and 5 axis machining center that works on X+Y+Z+A+C. A 5 axis router machine is an upgraded machine of regular 3 or 4 axis CNC routers. It is able to carve on a workpiece in five different faces simultaneously. Same as other CNCs, a 5 axis router operates on 3 primary axes of X, Y, Z. Besides, it can rotate its tools by two additional axes, A and C. This ensures the 5 axis router process more directions of the workpieces without adjusting them manually.

The 5 axis CNC router machine is also known as 5 axis machining center, 5 axis CNC milling machine, 5 axis CNC mill, etc. It has the advantages of high machining accuracy and is specially used for the machining of complex curved surface workpieces. At present, it is the most effective means to solve the processing of impellers, blades, marine propellers, large diesel engine crankshafts, etc. It plays an important role in aviation, aerospace, military, scientific research, precision equipment, high-precision medical equipment, and other industries.

Many companies use the 5 axis CNC machine for sale as a wood carving machine. Some suppliers also offer a kind of 5 axis machining center with table moving and rotating. it is also a good choice on some occasions.

5 axis machining vs. 3+2 axis machining

In simple terms, the tool moves in the direction of three basic axes and two rotation axes during 5 axis machining. However, the 3+2 axis machining is in nature a 3 axis machining process. The other two additional axes are to determine the direction of the tool at a fixed position.
The 5 axis linkage machining is suitable for the process of curved surfaces. And the 3+2 axis machining is more suitable for plane surfaces machining. The 5 axis CNC mill machine can realize various complex geometries with tighter tolerances. While the 3+2 axis machining center helps you keep the workpiece at a better machining place.

Types of 5 axis CNC machine

According to the machine structure, the CNC five axis processing center mainly falls into three types. They are the head/head type, table/head type, and table/table type.

As the name suggests, the head/head type machine has two rotary axes on the head. It has a rotating head, which can rotate by 360 degrees around the Z axis. And it also has an A axis that rotates around the X axis in more than 90 degrees. Features of this type machine include flexible spindle working, large working area, and good milling surface quality.

The table/head type refers to the machines whose rotary axes locate respectively in the table and the head. This type of 5 axis CNC milling machine has the largest flexibility. Because it can be the combination of any two axes among the A, B, and C axes. But most table/head type 5 axis machines adopt the combination of B and C axes. Such structure is simple and flexible. It can realize 5-sided machining with low manufacturing costs.

The table/table type has two rotary axes located on the table. The worktable mounded on the machine bed can rotate around the X axis, which is the A axis. Its general working angle of the A axis is from +30° to -120°. There is also another rotary table in the middle of the worktable. It rotates around the Z axis and is called the C axis. This type of 5 axis machine usually has a small-sized worktable with a small loading ability.

What can a 5 axis CNC machining center do?

The five-axis machining center can process planes, curved and inclined surfaces, oblique holes, 2D and 3D curved surfaces, and 3D lines. Besides, a 5 axis CNC machine can realize continuous milling, engraving, drilling, and sawing in all directions with one fixing and positioning of the workpiece.

The high-precision 5 axis machining centers have extensive applications in the furniture, molding, construction, machine manufacturing, civil and military industries. It can be used to produce:
  • Box-type parts, like automobile engine cylinder heads, clutch and gearbox housing, pumps
  • Complex curved surfaces, like bevel gear wheels, pinions, impellers
  • Irregular parts, including drilling, milling, boring, expanding, reaming, and rigid tapping processes
  • Molds, such as ship molds, automotive molds, construction molds
  • Statues and sculptures
  • Large-sized wood furniture
  • Styrofoam or gypsum models

Advantages of 5 axis CNC machine

Improved surface finish

Configurations of a 5 axis CNC machine helps create surfaces with a high-quality finish. The CNC router bits can keep closer to the workpieces. And the additional two axes allow the 5 axis CNC machine to use short tools. So the tools will not vibrate too much, which results in good surface quality.

Cut complex shapes

The additional two rotary axes allow you to realize the design and machining of intricate shapes. All five axes require various parts. The extra movement of this structure gives space for the manufacturing angels and arcs. This can only be done with multiple settings and specific fixtures in the past. But with 5 axis machining, you can complete the whole cutting and milling process with only one set. This also saves much production time and increases working efficiency.

Improved accuracy and tool life

The 5 axis machining process improves product accuracy by reducing settings. More settings mean more potential space for errors. So one setting can greatly reduce the risks of making errors.

The shorter the CNC router tools, the longer their service life. 5 axis machines allow the machine head to be closer to the tool surface. So this guarantees higher cutting speed and less vibration, which will eventually result in longer tool life.

High efficiency

When using the 5 axis CNC machine, we can always make the mill ends of the tool contact with the workpiece at a perfect, effective point. The 5 axis machining can effectively reduce the production time and auxiliary time of parts. Besides, the 5 axis CNC machine has a large spindle speed and feeds range, which enables the machine to have a powerful cutting capacity. The five axis machining has rapid movement and positioning ability, and can cut and mill products at a high speed. This reduces the turnaround time of semi-finished products and improves production efficiency and accuracy.

5 axis CNC machine price

With its wide application in many industries, more and more manufacturing companies tend to choose the industrial 5 axis machine. But it may be not an affordable machine for small businesses. Because the 5 axis CNC machine price is relatively high, ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. Some industry-level 5 axis machining centers could cause even more.

The reasons why 5 axis CNC price is high lie in the machine configurations and the unparallelled benefits the 5 axis CNC machine brings. Most of the machine parts adopt heavy-duty and high-quality ones to endure the heavy loading of processing. So the 5 axis machine has a higher manufacturing cost. In addition, it has features of excellent precision, high efficiency, stable product quality, labor-saving, etc. All these features make it a perfect and ideal machine for the high-tech and high-precision industries. That’s also why the 5 axis CNC machine price is high.

Apart from industry-level models, there are also some hobby 5 axis CNC machine models. They usually have a simple structure and functions. The hobby 5 axis CNC router price is relatively cheaper than the industrial type. Some of them may cost only $2,000. Therefore, the 5 axis CNC router price varies greatly according to different machine types.

How does a 5 axis CNC router machine work?

Through CNC programming, a 5 axis CNC machine moves the tool simultaneously on five different axes, which will help the tool approach the material from all directions. 5 axis machining technology refers to the processing technology that complex-shaped curved surfaces need to use 5 independent axes to jointly perform numerical control interpolation motion to obtain smooth and smooth curved surfaces. The number of axes of five-axis simultaneous machining refers to the number of axes that need to move independently when machining the same surface, not the number of controllable axes that CNC has. Compared with the three-axis CNC machine, the 5 axis CNC machine can reduce the machining error and surface roughness by 1/3~1/6.

5 different processing methods of 5 axis CNC machine

There are many types of horizontal 5 axis CNC machine.
1. Double swing head form: two coordinate axes directly control the direction of the tool axis.
2. Drooping rotary head form: two coordinate axes are at the top of the tool, but the rotary axis is not perpendicular to the linear axis.
3. Double turntable form: two coordinate axes directly control the space rotation.
4. The sagging table form: two coordinate axes are on the table, but the rotation axis is not perpendicular to the axis.
5. One swing and one turn form: one coordinate axe acts on the tool and the other acts on the workpiece.

5 axis CNC machining vs. 5 side processing

Many people mistake the 5-side machining center as a five axis machining center. However, there is a big difference between the 5 axis CNC machine and 3 axis CNC machine. 5-axis CNC router machine has 5 axes including x axis, y axis, z axis, a axis and b axis (or c axis). The 5 axes are good at space surface processing, hook surface processing, special-shaped processing, hollow processing, inclined hole, bevel cutting, etc. While the 5 sided CNC router machine is similar to a 3 axis CNC router machine with only x axis, y axis, and z axis. Although it can process five surfaces at the same time, it cannot do special-shaped processing, oblique hole drilling, and bevel cutting.

What kind of CNC components can a 5 axis CNC router machine use?

1. Basic structures

The basic components of a 5 axis CNC wood machine are of a bed, a worktable, and a column. They can be cast iron parts or welded steel structural parts. And they also play an important role to bear the cutting load generated during machining. Therefore, they must be components with high rigidity, good stability, as well as largest mass and volume.

2. Spindle 

The spindle assembly of the 5 axis CNC machine includes spindle box, spindle motor, spindle, spindle bearing, etc. When to start, stop, and rotate will all be controlled by the numerical control system. The tool mounted on the spindle participates in the cutting and is the power output component of the cutting process. And the spindle is the key component of the CNC router 5 axis machine because it has a great influence on the performance of the CNC machining center.

3. Control system

The numerical control parts of a 5 axis CNC wood carving machine is usually composed of the controller, motor, drive, and control panel. They are the control centers in which the 5 axis CNC machine for woodworking performs sequential control actions and completes the machining process.

4. Servo system

The function of the servo system is to convert the signal from the numerical controller into the motion of the moving parts of the machine tool. Its performance is one of the main factors that determine the machining accuracy, surface quality, and production efficiency. 5 axis CNC router woodworking machine generally uses three control methods: semi-closed loop, closed loop, and mixed loop.

5. Automatic Tool Changer (ATC)

It is composed of tool magazine, manipulator, drive mechanism, and other parts. The tool magazine is a device for storing all the tools used in the machining process. There are two commonly used tool magazines- linear tool magazine and carousel tool magazine. When the tool needs to be changed, according to the instructions of the CNC system, the manipulator is extended (or by other means) to remove the tool from the tool magazine and loaded into the spindle. CNC 5 axis wood carving machine uses the movement of the soil axle box or the tool magazine to realize the tool change without a manipulator. Although the tool type, tool magazine structure, and manipulator type are different, they are all driven by motor and hydraulic or pneumatic mechanism to realize the tool changing under the control of numerical control system.

6. Auxiliary system

The auxiliary system of a 5 axis CNC engraving machine includes lubrication system, cooling system, chip removal system, protection system, hydraulic system, random detection system, and so on. Although the auxiliary system of a 5 axis CNC machine does not directly participate in the cutting process, it guarantees the machining efficiency, machining accuracy, and machining reliability of the 5 axis router. Therefore, it is also an indispensable part of the 5 axis wood CNC machining center.

7. Automatic pallet changing system (APC)

In order to further shorten the non-cutting time, 5 axis CNC machine is equipped with two automatic exchange pallets. One is installed on the worktable for processing, and the other is located outside the worktable for loading and unloading workpieces. When the workpiece on a pallet is processed, the pallet is automatically exchanged to process new parts, which can greatly reduce working time and highly improve processing efficiency.

What industries does a 5 axis CNC machine applied to?

Composite material industry

A 5 axis CNC machine can realize trimming and punching of various composite material products such as plastic parts, FRP parts, rubber and plastic products.

Mold industry

A 5 axis CNC machine can process glass fiber reinforced plastic wood molds, casting wood molds, resin products, clay models, and various non-metal molds.

Ceramic sanitary ware industry

A 5 axis CNC machine can make gypsum molds, five-axis processing of various gypsum products.

Furniture industry

A 5 axis CNC machine can manufacture solid wood furniture, furniture tenon and tenon pieces, stair elbows, and other 5 axis CNC projects.

Musical instrument industry

 A 5 axis CNC machine can cut and engrave three-dimensional curved surfaces of large musical instruments.

Tips to maintain a 5-axis CNC router machine

As one of the best professional 5 axis CNC router manufacturers, when maintaining the CNC 5 axis router machine, we must strengthen the maintenance of the numerical control system. Otherwise, the long-term use will cause damage to the performance of electronic and mechanical components. Therefore, in order to extend the service life of the best 5 axis CNC wood router as much as possible, daily maintenance is very important.

1. Formulate the rules and regulations for the daily maintenance

Determine your own maintenance procedures according to the different characteristics of components. Clearly stipulated which 5axis CNC kits need to be cleaned every day, whether the mechanical structure is well lubricated, and which parts should be regularly replaced (such as DC servo motor brushes and commutators should be checked once a month) .

2. Monitoring the grid voltage of the CNC system

The 5 axis CNC wood router of Blue Elephant allows the grid voltage of the 5 axis CNC system to fluctuate within the range of 85% to 110% of the rated value. If it exceeds this range, the system of the CNC 5 axis router for sale will not work properly. Even worse, the electronic components inside the CNC system will be damaged.

3. Replace the battery regularly

To preserve the stored contents when the CNC system is not powered, there is a rechargeable battery maintenance circuit inside. When the CNC system is powered on, the 5V power supply supplies power to the CMOSRAM through the diode and charges the rechargeable battery. When the power supply of the numerical control system is cut off, the information in the CMOSRAM is maintained by the battery instead. Under normal circumstances, even if the battery does not fail, the battery should be replaced once a year to ensure the normal operation of the system. In addition, it should be noted that the battery replacement should be carried out under the power supply state of the CNC system.

4. Regularly check CNC cabinets & high-voltage cabinets

In summer, some users will open the door of the CNC cabinet to dissipate heat to overload the wood CNC 5 axis system for a long time. It will lead to accelerated damage to the five axis CNC system. The correct method is to reduce the external ambient temperature of the 5 axis CNC machine system. Check daily that each cooling fan on the 5-axis machining center cabinet is working properly. At the same time, check whether the air duct filter is blocked every six months or quarterly depending on the working environment. If there is too much dust on the filter, it needs to be cleaned in time. Otherwise, the temperature in the CNC system cabinet will be too high (generally not allowed to exceed 55), causing an overheating alarm or the unreliable operation of the CNC system.