CNC Axis Routing

What is the Difference Between 3 and 5 Axis CNC Machining?

Both 3 and 5 Axis CNC machining can achieve accurate trimming and cutting capabilities and there is only one major difference between the two processes.

What is 3 Axis CNC?

3 Axis CNC machining is the more traditional machining method and, as the name suggests, works on 3 different axes; X, Y and Z. The 3 Axis CNC machining process removes material along these three basic axes and these three axes alone.

What is 5 Axis CNC?

5 Axis CNC machining, however, works on those same three axis, X, Y and Z, as well as two more; A and B. The A and B axes are the axes around which the cutting tool rotates allowing for more precise and more detailed cutting, trimming and finishing. With 5 Axis CNC machining, the plastic part being cut can be approached from all directions and worked on from five separate sides in a single operation.

Whilst the difference between the two processes is slight, it completely changes the types of parts they can be used for. For example 3 Axis CNC machining is more suited to flat, shallower and less complex parts but is often more time efficient.

Conversely 5 Axis CNC machining takes longer to complete but is ideal for deeper plastic parts that are more complex or require greater precision with the cuts being made.

Why choose our CNC Machining services?

Exceptional Quality

Our quality assurance team oversees a programme integrated into continuous development, testing, and production. When services and products are sub-contracted we verify that any parties involved are issued with a specification for compliance and meet our quality standards.


To further our promise of quality, we are ISO 9001:2015 accredited. Our quality management system assures you that our products will meet and exceed your quality requirements.

For more information about our CNC routing or CNC machining services or to arrange a free consultation to discuss your requirements, please contact Ansini today on 01623 812333 or email

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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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