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CNC Multi-Axis Machines: Functions, Types, and Applications

CNC multi-axis machines are a relatively recent addition to the manufacturing world, taking an innovative approach to traditional machining lathes. Traditional lathes have a single tool that operates on the workpiece on just one axis–one side of the material. Multi-axis machining involves lathes that can operate on three or more axes in order to shape the workpiece. This versatility offers many benefits for manufacturing, including increased part accuracy, optimized production, and a superior surface finish on the final product, just to name a few. Manufacturers also can offer their customers more competitive costs thanks to reduced labor and waste, as multi-axis machines require less set-up than typical lathes.

The Types of Multi-Axis Machines

The types of multi-axis machines depend on the number of axes that the tool can work on. 3-axis machining is the simplest type, involving a fixed workpiece around which the spindle moves along the X,Y, and Z axes. 4-axis machining is more popular, as the spindle can, in addition to the X, Y, &, and Z, axes, rotate around the workpiece to reach other sides of it, eliminating most fixture setups. 5-axis machines are very similar, moving across multiple axes and rotating around the workpiece, though they typically have two tools that rotate independent of each other, forming complex, three-dimensional shapes.

The Applications of Multi-Axis Machining

Multi-axis machining is popular across many different industries due to its speed, efficiency and repeatable accuracy. From mass production of components to low volumes of complex parts, these machines have benefited many different types of manufacturing.

Automotive manufacturers value the complex designs that this technology can produce in mass quantities. Manufacturers of firearms and archery equipment also benefit from the high precision that these machines can impart on very small, delicate components. The speed and efficient repeatability for multi-axis are excellent for small and complicated filtration and hydraulic components as well.

Looking for a Supplier of CNC Multi-Axis Machining Services?

Rapid Precision Manufacturing, Inc. is your partner in precision, offering the highest quality and tightest tolerances from prototype to production. Check out our website to learn more about our services.