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What Are The 3-Axis, 4-Axis, And 5-Axis In Cnc Machining, And What Is The Difference Between Them?

3-axis CNC machining, 4-axis CNC machining, and 5-axis CNC machining are terms that are often heard in our industry work. Some users can't tell. For these types of CNC machining, there are still CNC milling machines that are classified according to the number of axes they operate. These movements determine the characteristics of the parts that can be manufactured and also affect production efficiency and accuracy.

In general, the more degrees of freedom are available, the more complex the geometry can be produced. What's the difference between 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis? What are their advantages? Which products are suitable for processing?


3-axis CNC machining

3-axis CNC machining generally refers to three axes that move linearly in different directions, such as up and down, front and rear, left and right.

The three-axis can only machine one face at a time, which is suitable for machining some disc parts, which is a limitation for many parts that need to machine holes or grooves on multiple faces.


4-axis CNC machining

4-axis CNC machining is to add a rotation axis to the 3-axis, generally 360° rotation on the horizontal plane. But it cannot rotate at high speed, and it is suitable for processing some box parts.

Most 4-axis CNC machines also allow the workpiece to rotate, which is called a b-axis, so that the machine can function as both a milling machine and a lathe.

If you need to drill holes on the side of a part or on the surface of a cylinder, 4-axis CNC machining is the way to go. It greatly speeds up the machining process and has high machining accuracy.


5-axis CNC machining

5-axis CNC machining is an additional rotation axis above the 4-axis, generally a 360° rotation of the vertical surface. 5-axis processing can already be fully processed, and one-time clamping can be realized, which can reduce the cost of clamping and reduce product scratches and bumps. 

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