Tips for 5-Axis Machining

For those just getting started with multi-axis milling toolpaths, or considering investing in a 5-axis machine, here are some tips:

1. Use clean geometry
Use simple geometry when driving multi-axis toolpaths. With such complex calculations being used, this is necessary. The geometry influences a variety of factors, including the type of chip produced, the finish, and the actual force placed on the part.

2. Contour driven is better
Swarf toolpaths can be surface or contour driven. The simpler of these two is contour, because it is a one-pass operation, making it the more reliable method for swarf milling.

3. Consider increasing cut tolerances
It might be worth it to open the toolpath tolerance depending on the quality and shape of the geometry. The toolpaths will generate faster if the model is large or complex, making it a good idea to start with looser tolerances.

4. Remember the “Use 4-axis” setting
It’s important to turn on the “Use 4-Axis” option in Tool Orientation when using multi-axis toolpaths on a single-axis rotary table machine.

Looking for a 5-axis machining center? Take a peek at Hurco’s U and SR Series of 5-axis machining centers offered by Brooks Associates.