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5-axis machining - Endless opportunities

5-axis machining is one of the terms cropping up when we talk about modern machining technology. Having 5-axis capability is no longer a luxury; it is a must-have. Therefore, many large corporations and small companies switch to the 5 axis machining technology to benefit from a more efficient workflow, higher flexibility, and better machining performance. The opportunities with 5-axis machining are endless. But what is 5-axis machining, and why is it used? This article explains the concepts about 5 axis machining while we guide you to the various 5-axis machines MODIG offers. Machines that allow you to achieve world-class quality.


What is 5-axis machining?

If you consider machining Cast iron, titanium, stainless steel, composite, or aluminum, you may have come across the term ”5-axis”. When it comes to machining, the term ”5-axis” refers to the number of directions in which the machine’s tool can move. In a 5-axis machining center, the spindle can move on three linear axes (X, Y, and Z) and rotate on two axes (A and B or A and C) that work simultaneously, making the tool able to approach the workpiece from any direction. In other words, 5-axis machining offers three linear axes and two rotational axes that work simultaneously to achieve complex surface machining in a single setup.

5-axis compared to conventional CNC machines using 3-axis

Compared to traditional CNC machinery with a spindle able to move in 3-axis directions, a 5 axis machining center with the capacity to move a tool in five different axes simultaneously offers more flexibility and higher precision with less operator supervision. In a 5-axis machining center, the part can be approached from all directions and can be worked from five sides in a single operation to achieve complex surface machining in a single setup, saving both time and money.

Benefits of 5-axis machining

Five-axis machining is quickly becoming a widely utilized method of working in the metal fabrication industry. The reason for this is because it offers numerous advantages. It allows for quick changes in design parameters without affecting the production itself. It allows for fast material removal and allows for precise cuts and joins. The list of benefits of 5-axis machining can be very long. Therefore, we here try to shed light on the essential gains.

Complex Shapes

The further movement generates machining angles and arcs which were only previously possible using a profusion of special fittings or added installments.

Fewer Setups

5-axis machines can machine each surface, constituting the bottom or clamping area. When working on components that need machining on many faces, you will need several setups using a 3-axis system to attain the intricate geometry through manual rotating; 5-axis technology finishes the task in a single setup, saving time and let you achieve the desired productivity.

Higher Accuracy

Each time you remove the part from the machine or adjust it manually, you lose the exact alignment that lets you attain superior quality. Unlike 3-axis machining, 5-axis machining enhances accuracy by finishing a task in a single setup and creating multiple and complex shapes without losing the precision required to maintain quality.

Better Surface End

In a 5-axis machining center, the rotating fifth and fourth axes utilize so the component can be oriented closer to the cutting tool, enabling shorter cutting tools. A shorter cutting tool is not as exposed to vibrations at higher cutting speeds, directly affecting the surface finish. With a more concise tool, the machine tool can process at higher cutting speeds without vibrations and give superior surface finishes and overall better part quality.

5-axis machining centers from MODIG

Modig offers both inverted, vertical, and horizontal 5-axis machining centers optimized for companies with a need for best-in-class technology and speed. With unique solutions, flexible configurations, and a focus on quality MODIG’S machining centers gives you many advantages. Here are our machining centers with 5-axis configurations available: HHV2, HHV3, FlexiMill, P51, D80, H12, U19, EVM-2, XM-Line, IM-6/8/10, IM-6T/8T/10T, RigiMill MT, and RigiMill MG.

Different configurations of 5-axis machining

The 5-axis technology has evolved and is now available in different configurations. There are three main types of 5-axis machine configuration, depending on ”where” the axis rotations occur. The most common types are Table-table, Head-Table, and Head-Head configurations.

Trunnion table machines where both rotations happen on the table, while the head does not rotate, are the most common configuration. This configuration could also refer to as the Table-Table configuration. In MODIG’S portfolio, you find Inverted machining centers with Mill-turn.  New trunnion table machines processing from below: IM-6T, IM-8T, IM-10T

The following configuration is the Swivel-rotate-style machines. This type of machine can have a head-head configuration. Meaning the head completes all rotations, the table is stationary.  A Swivel machine can also have a head-table configuration consisting of a tilting head and a rotating table.