Why is it critical to have a deep understanding of the various sorts of CNC machines? Well, if you don’t know the shortcomings and advantages of every particular sort of CNC machine, you'll not be ready to properly design for it, which is costing plenty of your time and money. So, today’s topic are going to be how machines operate, also because the limits and advantages of every machine type. We’ll focus on the CNC machines that remove material using cutting tools since they’re the foremost popular and have the foremost uses. This excludes laser cutters, plasma cutters, and EDM equipment.
The Different sorts of Axis In CNC Machines
Different types of CNC machine tools can be divided into two categories: three-axis CNC machine and multi axis CNC machine. CNC milling machine or CNC lathe, commonly known as lathe, has three axes. Index CNC machine , continuous five axis CNC machine, high precision CNC milling machine and turning machine are samples of multi axis CNC machine tools.
3 Axis CNC Machines
Let's start with a three-axis CNC machine tool. CNC milling machines and CNC lathes can make the tool to run relatively to the parts on three linear axes. However, from left to right, front and back, up and down, pay attention to the lathe sometimes misses one or more such combinations.
1 - CNC milling machine
3 axis CNC milling machines are widely used because they will manufacture the bulk of conventional shapes. They're simpler to program and operate, leading to a lower machining starting cost. The workpiece is kept fixed on the machine bed or during a vice during CNC milling. Material is faraway from the workpiece with the utilization of specialised cutting tools that spin at a high speed. The cutting tools are connected to a spindle which will move along the three linear axes. Typically, multiple rounds of cutting are wont to create the component. First, an approximation geometry is applied to the workpiece to get rid of material rapidly and with lesser precision, followed by one or more finishing rounds to make the ultimate component. It’s worth noting that tool availability might be a design constraint in CNC milling. due to the three axes, some places might be inaccessible. it's possible to rotate a workpiece, so it's not a problem , but repeated rotations may raise your machining and labor expenses.
- 2 - CNC Turning Machines/CNC Lathes
CNC lathes can manufacture components at a considerably faster pace and a less expensive per-unit cost than CNC mills. this is often particularly important for higher quantities. The workpiece is kept on the spindle because it rotates at a high speed during CNC turning. A cutter or center drill is employed to trace the surface and inner perimeters of the CNC precision machined components that form the geometry. Central drills and internal cutting tools can also be accustomed to create holes along the middle axis. Because lathes are usually wont to manufacture components with a cylindrical shape, this is often also an obstacle. They're only capable of manufacturing that geometry. to bypass this restriction, parts of the component are often seen being milled during a separate machining phase, or 5 axes mill turning is employed . CNC centers can create an equivalent shape during a single step.
The Multi Axes/5 Axes CNC Machining
These machines can spin on an equivalent three linear axes as CNC machines with 3 axes. What difference of them is that they will spin on another 2 axes, for a complete of 5 axes. CNC miller centers with 5 axes can make the rotation on three linear axes of movement. they will also rotate the machine bed, the tool head, or both. this enables 5 axis CNC machines to cope with more complicated geometries. However, this accompanies with better cost since it requires specialized equipment and workers with extensive expertise. If you’re operating on extremely complicated or topology-optimized metal components. Maybe 3D printing is a far better choice.
- 1 - Indexed 5-axis CNC machines
During machining, the tool can only move along three linear axes. However, between two operations, the bed and gear head may rotate automatically to approach the workpiece from the replacement angle. Therefore, manual adjustment of the workpiece does not require manual participation. Therefore, compared with 3-axis NC milling machine, parts with more complex geometry can be produced faster and more accurately. However, they do not have the full free forming capacity of 5-axis NC machine tools.
- 2 - Continuous 5 Axis CNC Milling Machines
The structure of continuous five axis CNC milling machine is very similar to that of indexing five axis CNC milling machine. However, there is a significant difference. Continuous 5-axis CNC milling machine can move all 5 axes simultaneously in all machining processes. However, these enhanced functions need to pay a huge price. Continuous five axis NC milling requires expensive equipment and highly skilled machinists to program the machine correctly.
-Three milling turning CNC center
CNC center of turning machine is equivalent to the machine of precision CNC turning. The difference between them is that they are also equipped with NC milling equipment. The workpiece is connected to the spindle, which is similar to a 5-axis CNC machine tool and can rotate at high speed or be placed at a specific angle. In order to make parts, lathes and milling tools are used to removing material from the workpiece. Swiss lathe may be a variant of milling turning center with higher accuracy. NC turning system not only has the high productivity of NC turning system, but also has the geometric universality of NC turning system.
All in all,-Three axis CNC milling machine produces parts with basic geometry and high precision at low cost.
-The unit cost of CNC lathe is the lowest, but it is only applicable to the part geometry with rotational symmetry.
-The indexing 5-axis CNC milling machine can quickly and accurately produce parts that do not align with one of the main axes.
-Continuous five axis CNC milling machine’s price is very high, and the parts produced have extremely complex organic shapes and smooth curves.
-Milling and turning CNC center take the advantages of CNC turning and CNC milling into one system, so that it can produce complex parts at a lower cost than other 5-axis CNC systems.