CNC milling equipment according to the number of axes

by Gary Fain
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Ddprototype is a highly reputable Chinese company offering services like CNC milling, CNC machining, rapid prototyping, and a wide range of finishing services. The company has acquired its reputation because it uses a wide range of CNC milling equipment like 3-axis milling equipment. In addition to 3-axis CNC milling equipment, several other types of CNC milling equipment are based on the number of axes.

Types of CNC milling equipment based on the number of axes

CNC milling machines can be categorized depending on the type or number of axes. Below are some of these types;

a. 3-axis mill

A 3-axis mill refers to when a table can move in two directions. The directions are usually labeled X and Y-axis. This kind of operation allows you to position the workpiece relative to the cutting tool. However, the distance remains the same. As the title suggests, there are three axes. The third one is the Z-axis. The role of the Z-axis is to help lower the cutting tool. All these axes move and operate simultaneously. This only happens because of the CNC controllers. The controllers provide the necessary flexibility to achieve your processing needs.

b. 4-axis mills

There are four axes. Like the former, there is the X, Y, and Z-axis. They operate in the same way described above. However, there is a fourth axis. The fourth axis is labeled A-axis. The role of this axis is to enable the rotation of the table. By doing this, it helps allow for face milling. This means that you do not have to reposition the workpiece to achieve this benefit.

c. 5-axis mills

As the pattern and title suggest, here there are 5-axes. The first four are similar to the ones mentioned above, where the X and Y-axes are responsible for the 2-directional table movement. The third axis is the Z-axis, and it is responsible for lowering the cutting tool. The fourth one, the A-axis, is responsible for rotating the table. Finally, there is the fifth one called the B-axis. It allows the Y-axis to rotate.

Compared to the other three types of CNC milling machines, 5-axis mills are usually more costly. This is because they can be used for manufacturing complex parts. Additionally, they do not warrant additional setups while operating. 5-axis mills also enable better part positioning.

d. 6-axis mills

The first five axes in these machines perform the same roles as those mentioned above. However, they feature a sixth axis. The sixth axis allows for the table to move in three directions. While these milling centers offer more benefits than all the other ones mentioned above, they are not as popular. This is because of their hefty prices. The expenses are justified because they can perform tasks 75% faster than the other mills.

Final word

The types of CNC milling machines can also be determined by their design and operation. Note that the different machines usually produce varying production results. Therefore, you may want to consider this element when choosing an ideal type of CNC milling equipment for your operation.

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