CNC Machine: What’s the difference between 3, 4 & 5 Axis?

CNC Machine


A CNC machine produces designs by cutting into specific materials. Typically, the program CAD is utilized to design an object, and the CNC machine interprets that design. The machine then works on its own to produce the product. CNC machines can typically cut through brass, aluminum, steel, or plywood.

CNC machines are the future of manufacturing However, the function of the CNC machine depends on the specific axis. Certain designs are only produced if using the proper axis. Here are the different types of CNC axis.

3 Axis CNC Machining

The 3 Axis CNC machining is the most common axis within the system. The spindle moves in the typical three angles: X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis. This machine is used for 2D designs such as drawings and is only used on one side. Meaning, the material will need to be physically flipped to reach another side.

The 3-axis is best used for simple projects requiring a specific angle. For example, a 45° angle cannot be produced on a 3-axis. However, 3-axis CNC machining still has excellent components to create unique designs. Many students across the country begin their CNC knowledge with just a 3-axis machine.

4 Axis CNC Machining

The 4 Axis CNC Machining introduces the A-axis, rotating around the X-axis. This allows what a 3 axis does not. The machine does not rely on workers to physically rotate the material themselves. Instead, the device works on all sides of the material along the axis.

The 4-axis improves efficiency and opens the door for more elaborate designs without worries of inaccuracies. However, although the 4-axis provides freedom to the design, the angle must be taken care of before the rotation. Angles must be set as the A-axis rotates before beginning to obtain the correct angle. Besides a little manual setup beforehand, the 4-axis improves design and efficiency.

5 Axis CNC Machining

Although the 4 Axis CNC Machining is an excellent piece of tech, it does not beat the 5 Axis CNC Machining The machine uses the set X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis. However, it uses one of two other axes. Depending on the device, it will rotate on the A-axis and C-axis. Or turn on the B-axis and C-axis. Either way, the machine will have ultimate freedom and design that only 3 or 4 axis CNC machining does not.

The machine will access any angle and rotation as the design deems fit. There is absolutely no room for human error and spikes efficiency. It dramatically improves the fundamental aspect of the CNC machine and allows the creation of the most complex 3D designs.

How To Choose

The 5 Axis CNC Machining is the best choice in CNC machines. However, the other axis machining technology will not disappoint. Choosing the correct machine will depend on the type of work, design, and workers available. Either way, the machine increases productivity no matter what the choice.

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