5-Axis CNC Machining

5-axis cnc machining quote
Jack Lie CNC machining expert

Specialize in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, 3D Printing, Urethane Casting, and Sheet Metal Fabrication Services.

Runsom provides advanced 5-axis CNC machining for customers in worldwide, which encourage our machining capacity significantly with various shapes and sizes. Once your project need CNC service, there is no doubt 5-axis CNC machining will be the most suitable solution for your specific requirement. 5-axis CNC machining is an excellent technology for part production with various materials like plastics and metals. However, 5-axis CNC machining always impress consumers with high technology, expensive price and difficult operations. In this article, we will introduce you detail information about 5-axis CNC machining.

5-axis CNC machine
5-Axis CNC Machine

What is 5-Axis CNC Machining

5-Axis CNC machining is manufacturing process, which utilize CNC to control cutting equipment or different parts on five different axes at same time. This improve production ability for complex parts, and make it widely used in various industries. 5-Axis machining increase production adeptness, and reduce production time significantly in actual process. In addition, 5-axix machining can avoid crashing between parts holding equipment and cutting tools by revolve table or platform for quick approach space. Which also can keep cutting equipment in best incisive position and consistent chip load, result to enhance equipment life or longevity.


5-Axis is the number of CNC machining mode, 5-axis adds 2 rotating shafts on 3 common linear axes of X,Y and Z on 3-axis machining centers. Two of these 3 axes have different motion modes to satisfy various technical requirement.

Main forms of 5-axis machine

As there are different kind of 5 axis machines, we can divide them into following 5 types:

  1. Double swivel head form, two rotation coordinates control on cutter axes.
  2. Droop swivel head form, two coordinated axes are not perpendicular to linear axis on cutter top.
  3. Double swivel head form, two coordinates control space rotation.
  4. Droop table, two axes are not perpendicular to axis on table.
  5. One swing, one rotate form, two rotation coordinates on cutter and work-pieces.

5-axis CNC machining is able to manufacture CNC parts with complex geometries, high tolerance and excellent surface.

Types of 5-axis machine

5-Axis CNC machines have different arrangement of rotary axes to meet various manufacturing requirement, in order to save production time and enhance current procedure. There are 3 types including head/head, table/table, table /head.

  • Head/Head: This rotary axes in CNC machine are situated in head area, all these 5-axis apex are on particular platform and move toward work-piece fixed platform. Which make this type machine best suitable for large parts production, in reason of limited movements in rotary axes and tilt.
  • Table/Head: In this machine, one rotary axis is situated in table, and another in head. The revolving axis in head is in restricted range, while rotary shaft in table has unlimited scope. In reason of work-pieces are located on rotary axis, this machine is still limited to production item numbers. While it has advantage of consistent ability comparing to head/head type, no need to worry of specific limit on revolve direction.
  • Table/Table: All rotary axes are located in table with restricted scope in revolving axis. But its rotary is not limited. This type of machine has minimal work envelope arrangement comparing to other types.

Many people mistake 5-sided machining as 5-axis machining. 5 axes of x,y,z, a &b form a 5-axis linkage machining, which is suitable for surface hooking, unusual shaping, hollowing, punching, oblique holing, and oblique cutting. While 5-sided machining is similar to 3-axis machining, only can process five sides, but cannot finish special machining, oblique holing and bevel cutting process.

Advantages of 5-Axis Machining

5-Axis machining has features in high efficiency, high precision, and one clamping time complement. Which is most suitable for modern molds as structural parts in various industries. Such as aerospace, scientific research, precision instruments, medial device. It make all spatial surface or unusual shape production in most cost-effective way. Not only complete complex parts task, but also improve process efficiency and reduce process flow.

Optimum cutting conditions

In 3-axis cutting process, once cutter moves toward top or edge area of work-pieces, the cutting efficiency will deteriorate gradually. In order to optimum cutting condition in practical process, we need to rotate table directions for different angle. For irregular plane, we must rotate platform several times in various directions. It is obviously that 5-axis machining can produce better surface quality, and avoid low center line speed of ball cutters.

Reduce processing time

5-axis CNC machining will reduce processing time comparing to other operation types. In most CNC centers, parts need to be machined on 5sides separately. While 5-axis CNC milling require a single setup to make machining process fast and effectively. In 5-axis machining process, cutting tools maintain vertical condition of processing surface, and reduce processing time. It is also applicable to side milling with angled surface, and eliminate rib-like lines caused by ball cutter. Which will improve parts surface quality and reduce manual work.

Improve machining precision

As additional setup will lead to more errors, 5-aixs machining with minimal setups will improve accuracy significantly. It also increase cutting tools longevity in reason of shorter tools requirement. In 5-axis machining technology, positioning work-pieces on platform with complex angles will be solved, this will not only reducing processing time, but also improve machining tolerance. 5 axis machining can produce complex part, which cannot be created by traditional methods, such as drilling, taper machining, cavity crypts with various surface.

Quality surface finish

As 5-axis machine cutting tools have closer distance to work-pieces, which will reduce tools vibration and result to quality surface finishes. Even for intricate shapes, five axes extra movement will guarantee sufficient space for manufacturing,

High production efficiency

5-axis machining can effectively reduce manufacturing time and auxiliary time, it has large spindle speed and feed rage, encourage machines perform powerful cutting capacity. Rapid movement and positioning reduce turnaround time and improve final efficiency and precision.

Inferiority of 5-Axis Machining

As 5-axis CNC machining technology play important role in manufacturing and production industry, it is widely applied for complicated setbacks and complex surface. However, 5-axis machining is not as extensive for following reason.

High cost

5-axis machines and software have high price than ordinary machining centers. In addition, machine maintenance is more difficult. This will give rise to higher cost of 5-axis machined parts than ordinary machines.

Complex and difficult programming

In programming process, as 2 rotational motions involved, the spatial trajectory of synthetic motion form is complicate and abstract, and difficult to understand. In order to create space free-form surface, we need pass multiple coordinate transformations and complex spatial geometric operations in programming process. In addition, coordination in each motion axis should be considered to avoid interference and collision. For higher machining precision and surface quality, programming difficulty is much more great.

High technical requirement

As advanced technology need higher-talents operation, 5-axis CNC machining require high technical operators form single programming to machining operation.

Runsom is at forefront of technological innovation, regardless of 5-axis CNC machining, we still provide different machining options or solutions. Please feel free to contact us for your next project.