Effects of 5-Axis

High-Efficiency Machining of Impellers by Simultaneous 5-Axis Control

Impellers, brisks, and turbine blades can be only machined by 5-axis control.

Vertex is capable of following up high-speed complicated movements specified by a program and exhibiting the machining capabilities far greater than those of the conventional BT40-class.

Process Intensive Machining by Multi-face Indexing

Many parts require machining on multiple faces. A 3-axis machine has to change setups every time a different face is processed. A 5-axis machine is, however, capable of indexing 2 tilting and rotary axes in addition to 3 linear axes, allowing you to:

  • Fully process the faces other than the one that is mounted.
  • Greatly reduce the number of setup steps.
  • Simplify or dispense with jigs.
  • Improve the accuracy.

Machining by Controlling the 5-Axis Tool Nose

When processing 5-axes simultaneously, the postprocessor outputs a cutter path, accounting for the central dislocation value of the tilting/rotary axis. As the central dislocation value differs from one machine to another, a machining program has to be recreated if the machine is changed.

Once you input the central dislocation value of the tilting/rotary axis specific to the machine into a parameter, however, the program does not need to take into account the differences because the NC unit will make the calculations. An identical program can be used even if the machine has been changed, thus making it more use-friendly.

Example of Using 5-Axis Machining for Metal Molds 1
(Machining of Core by Indexing the 2 Axes and Simultaneously Controlling the 3 Axes)

In the metal mold machining field, 5-axis machining is attracting much attention. The following decribes its advantages:

  1. Capable of approaching a tool from an optimum direction.
    • The metal molds can be machined by cutting, which have been able to be machined only by a spark erosion machine.
  2. Capable of machining the workpieces by one-time chucking, where conventional machines require setup change.
    • Reduce metal mold manufacturing time (lead time).
    • Labor-saving, unmanned operation.
  3. Capable of reducing machining time and improving the quality of machined surfaces.
    • More roughing allowance can be taken by using a flat end mill in place of a conventional bowl end mill.

Example of Machining the Gear Case / Core Model

Work name
Gear case / core model
Blank dimensions
260 mm x 220 mm x 185 mm (H)
tools MX (Graphic Products)
Program Cooperated by
Graphic Products

The following describes the advantages of 5-axis machining, taking a gear case/core as an example. Conventionally, this kind of metal molds have been only machined by spark machining after manufacturing the electrodes. However, they can now be manufactured by 5-axis cutting, which greatly reduces the metal mold manufacturing lead time.

A: A rising wall is 150 mm or higher and you cannot machine from above with a 3-axis machine.

B: With a 5-axis machine, you can machine with a short tool by indexing the rotary axis with the tilting axis indexed by 90 degrees. If the indexing accuracy of the rotary axis is low, you will notice a bump at the joint on the wall. The high-accuracy table indexing function of Vertex solves such problems.

C: A small-diameter bowl end mill such as R1 is used to machine the corners, but you cannot machine the C-area from above because it is obstructed by a high wall. With the 5-axis machine, you can index the tilting/rotary axis and approach a tool from an optimum direction for machining.

Effects of 5-Axis Machining

For 3-axis machining, you will most likely manufacture the electrodes and perform spark machining. With conventional machines,the metal mold manufacturing lead time takes130 hours, which includes the idling time between the processes. The 5-axis machining has reduced the metal mold manufacturing time to only 30.5 hours by successfully eliminating an electrode manufacturing time and a wait time between processes.

Example of Using 5-Axis Machining for Metal Molds 2
(Machining by Simultaneous 5-Axis Control)

Machining Data

Work name
Fin metal mold model
Blank dimensions
φ150 mm, 75 mm high
Machining method
5-axis tool nose control

Effect of Simultaneous 5-Axis Machining – 1; Machining of Pocket

Capable of using a thick flat end mill for roughing.

⇒(1) High cutting performance, (2)Quick removal of cutting chips ⇒ Shorter machining time

Capable of using a R0.5 bowl end mill for pocket finishing.

Even a small corner at a joint between the side wall and the bottom can be machined with one tool.

Effect of Simultaneous 5-Axis Machining – 2; Machining of Fins / Hub

Capable of moving a tool along the shape of a hub with the 5-axis machining.

(1)As roughing allowance becomes uniform, the load in the following process is reduced.⇒ Reduced machining time
(2)A joint between the fins and the hub is neatly finished.⇒ Improved quality of the machined surfaces and reduced number of polishing steps.

[For 3-Axis Machining]
A stripe pattern is apparent at a joint in contour line machining or scanning line
[For 5-Axis Machining]
A joint is not