Multi-axis machining has almost become the norm in the manufacturing industry. These machines are milling machines, either manual or CNC, and have at three or more directions for cutting which are labeled as X, Y, and Z.
From there, X and Y control the left/right and forward/back motion of the support bed. The Z axis is the vertical motion of the spindle holding whichever tool is being used. On milling machines, it is also possible to create a fourth dimension, or axis of rotation, which is commonly parallel to the X axis.
When only using the fourth axis, a rotary table is added, which is aligned with the X axis and perpendicular to the Y axis. It’s then called the A axis. This allows for an item to be indexed and then machined with the standard three-axis program. Or it can be used as a continuous fourth axis moving with live rotation during machining and allowing for off-axis components to be created.
More axes can be added to these milling machines making them 5-axis machines or even 6-axis, adding more moving parts and complex machining. With this ability, multi-axis machines are pushing the limits of what can be created.
Hurco’s 5-Axis CNC machining centers come in three different machine configurations to meet the various needs of their machining customers. Visit the Brooks website to learn more about these configurations and their benefits.