The History of 5 Axis CNC Machining

The History of 5-Axis CNC Machining

Here at Ansini we utilise 5-axis CNC Machining for a number of manufacturing purposes, whether it involves the actual manufacture of complex plastic parts or the trimming of parts that have already been manufacture through a process such as plastic vacuum forming or injection moulding.

Whilst we are able to offer the simpler 3-Axis CNC Machining, 5-Axis CNC Machining is more commonly utilised as it allows for more complex plastic parts and components to be made with greater accuracy and precision.

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What is 5 Axis CNC Machining?

Put simply, the 5-Axis CNC Machining process is largely similar to sculpting and involves the movement along 5 different axes, X, Y, Z, A and B.

The utilisation of 5-Axis CNC Machining here at Ansini has allowed us to excel at creating a range of simple and complex plastic components that are utilised across a number of different industries including automotive, aerospace and agriculture.

What are the Axes?

There are a number of famous scientific discoveries that many of us are aware of yet many are unaware of the story of Rene Descartes and the Cartesian Coordinate System – the coordinate system we use today.

The story states that Descartes, who liked to stay up late, was lying in bed watching a fly on his ceiling. Whilst he was watching the fly he realised that he could define the fly’s position on the ceiling using three simple numbers which are referred to as the X, Y and Z coordinates.

This gave birth to the Cartesian Coordinate System and is still in use today, three centuries after Descartes’ death.

The Cartesian Coordinate system, however, is only responsible for three of the fives axes in 5-Axis CNC Machining leaving two coordinates, A and B, missing.

These two coordinates are based on orientation and cannot be conceptualized in a three dimensional space. In regards to the fly on the ceiling these coordinates would be measured if the fly were to rotate on its axis.

The rotational axis around X is referred to as A, whilst the rotational axis around Y is referred to as B and whilst there is an additional rotational axis around Z, this axis is not commonly used in the machining process as it provides few additional benefits.

What are the benefits of 5-Axis CNC Machining?

Ultimately, the utilisation of 5-Axis CNC Machining is mainly utilised for the sculpting and trimming of complex plastic parts and components as it allows for greater control over depth and rotation as opposed to hand trimming parts and using 3-Axis CNC machining.

This greater sense of control and precision not only allows for increasingly complex plastic parts and components but also provides additional benefits such as greater accuracy and efficiency.

If you require the need for our 5-Axis CNC Machining services or any of our other plastic manufacturing services, such as plastic vacuum forming, contact our professional team today to see how we can help.

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If you have a question for us, or would like to discuss a specific project, please do get in touch.

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