5 axis CNC Machines

cnc milling - high z 720

If you are familiar with what a CNC Milling machine is, then you will know that the CNC machines comes in a wide range of configurations and can work in more than 3 axis. Specifically, they can work in up to 5 axis.

The 3 axis



Now what most of the people ask is which one of these 5 axis are? Surely, we know what the 3 axis are i.e. X axis, Y axis, and Z axis. But what confuses most of the people are the other 2 axis that the CNC Milling machines can work on.

The 4th and 5th axis

The fourth and fifth axis that the CNC Milling machines are configured for is the rotation among the X and Y axis. Let’s say that there is a mosquito in your room. You can pin point its location using the 3 axis (X, Y and Z). But if you zoom into the mosquito during its flight, you will have to count its orientation as well. In which way the mosquito is turned to. This leads to the rotation axis around X and Y axis. So the 5 axis that the CNC Milling machine can work are X, Y, Z, A rotation, B rotation.

Now one can argue that the machine can work on a 3rd axis too which would be the rotation around Z axis. That is true but including that axis doesn’t bring a lot of beneficial features so usually that isn’t implemented.


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