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4 axis & 5 axis CNC Machining Service

Transform complexity into simplicity with FirstMold’s 4 axis & 5 axis CNC machining services.

5 axis CNC machined steel workpiece
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Core In 4 Axis & 5 Axis CNC Machining​

In 4 Axis and 5 Axis machining, the addition of one or two rotational axes to the worktable transforms the capability of our machines, allowing for the handling of significantly more complex parts. At FirstMold, we believe that the essence of 4 Axis and 5 Axis machining hinges on three critical factors: precision, efficiency, and cost.

While 4 Axis and 5 Axis CNC machining have become commonplace across machining facilities worldwide, FirstMold stands apart as the sole entity truly maximizing precision, efficiency, and cost control to their utmost potential. This achievement is rooted in the skilled craftsmanship of our staff and our company’s exceptionally rational workshop management.

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4 axis and 5 axis CNC machined Part Gallery

Both four-axis CNC machining and five-axis CNC machining are types of multi-axis CNC machining. Typically, both processes can complete the machining of most shapes.”

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Perfektes Handwerk mit einem Klick

Differences Between 3 axis, 4 axis and 5 axis CNC Machining

Merkmal 3-Achsen-CNC-Bearbeitung 4-Achsen-CNC-Bearbeitung 5-Achsen-CNC-Bearbeitung
Complexity of Parts
Parts with relatively simple geometries.
More complex parts than 3 axis, including those needing cuts from the side.
extremely complex geometries, including simultaneous cutting from multiple angles.
Setup Times
Generally lower setup times for simple components.
Setup times increase slightly due to the additional axis, but reduce the need for multiple setups for complex parts.
Higher initial setup times due to complexity, but significantly reduces the need for multiple setups.
Production Speed
Fast for simple geometries but may require multiple setups for complex shapes
Faster than 3 axis for complex parts due to reduced need for multiple setups.
Fastest production times for complex geometries due to simultaneous 5-axis movement.
Precision & Accuracy
Good precision suitable for many applications.
Higher precision than 3 axis as it can approach the part from multiple angles
Highest precision and accuracy, capable of intricate details and tight tolerances.
Typical Applications
Flat surfaces, simple milling, and drilling operations.
Parts requiring machining on several sides, simple cams, and brackets.
Aerospace components, automotive prototypes, medical devices, and other highly complex parts.

Our Machining Tolerance Standard

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This table outlines our recommended tolerance standards. If you do not have specific tolerance requirements for your product, we will proceed with machining based on the standard class. Additionally, our colleagues will contact you promptly to analyze and recommend tolerances for your product based on our experience.

Toleranzklasse Allgemeine Toleranzen (Zoll) Allgemeine Toleranzen (mm) Anmeldung
Standard
±0.005"
±0.127 mm
Suitable for general parts not subjected to high loads.
Fine
±0.002"
±0.0508 mm
Parts that must fit together with minimal gap or play.
Präzision
±0.001"
±0.0254 mm
Aerospace components, medical devices, and other critical parts.
Ultra-Precision
±0.0005" or tighter
±0.0127 mm or tighter
Applications where the slightest deviation cannot be tolerated, often requiring specialized equipment and processes.

FAQs For 4 Axis & 5 Axis CNC Machining Services

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What are four-axis and five-axis CNC machining?

Four-axis machining center: This is based on the traditional three-axis (X, Y, Z) machining, with an additional rotational axis. This rotational axis can be the A-axis rotating around the X-axis, the B-axis rotating around the Y-axis, or the C-axis rotating around the Z-axis. This rotational axis allows the machining platform to rotate, enabling the machine tool to complete more automated machining actions during the process. Four-axis machining centers are advanced models that can achieve multi-surface machining, reduce clamping times, and improve machining efficiency.

Five-axis machining center: This builds upon the four-axis machining center by adding another rotational axis. This additional axis is typically the tool’s rotational axis, allowing the tool to rotate in any direction along the machining surface, unrestricted by the rotational plane. The two rotational axes in a five-axis machining center are usually the A-axis and C-axis (or B-axis and C-axis), representing the tool’s rotation around the X-axis and Z-axis, respectively. Five-axis machining centers offer better machining precision and efficiency when processing complex curved surfaces, making them the top equipment in the machining field.

What is the difference between four-axis and five-axis machining?

Machining Capability: Four-axis machining centers are mainly suitable for machining flat parts, such as machine bases and panels. In contrast, five-axis machining centers are suitable for more complex three-dimensional curved surface machining, such as aerospace engine components, rotating surfaces, and threads. Five-axis machining centers have stronger machining capabilities and can complete more complex machining tasks.

Machining Precision: In five-axis machining centers, the tool can rotate in any direction along the machining surface, unrestricted by the rotational plane. This allows five-axis machining centers to achieve better precision when processing complex curved surfaces. Four-axis machining centers, however, cannot perform such complex free-form machining.

Programming Difficulty: Due to the additional rotational axis and more complex machining capabilities of five-axis machining centers, the programming difficulty is relatively higher. Programmers need to master more programming skills and knowledge to fully utilize the capabilities of five-axis machining centers.

How many four-axis and five-axis CNC machining centers do you have?

FirstMold currently has nearly ten four-axis machining centers and more than ten five-axis machining centers. They are all precision machining equipment from the HAAS brand, mainly used for schneller Prototypenbau and medium to large batch part production.

Under what circumstances would you use four-axis and five-axis machining centers for processing?

Complexity of the Part:

Four-axis: When the part requires machining on multiple faces but remains relatively simple in shape. Examples include components with holes on different sides or parts requiring intricate surface detailing.

Five-axis: When the part has complex geometries, such as intricate curves, undercuts, or multiple angled surfaces. Examples include aerospace components, medical devices, and detailed mold tools.

Precision Requirements:

Four-axis: For parts that require high precision on multiple planes but do not have intricate 3D surfaces.

Five-axis: For parts that demand extremely high precision and smooth finishes on complex, multi-angled surfaces.

Machining Efficiency:

Four-axis: When the goal is to reduce the number of setups and repositioning for parts that can be machined efficiently with one additional rotational axis.

Five-axis: When the goal is to achieve the highest level of efficiency in machining complex parts by minimizing setups and allowing the tool to access the part from virtually any angle in a single setup.

Is there a price difference between four-axis and five-axis CNC machining compared to three-axis CNC machining?

Yes, four-axis and five-axis CNC machining are generally more expensive than three-axis CNC machining due to increased complexity, advanced capabilities, longer setup and programming times, and higher equipment costs.

What is the delivery time for five-axis CNC machining?

The delivery time for FirstMold’s five-axis CNC machining depends on the complexity and size of the parts. Typically, five-axis CNC machined parts take between 1-7 hours to process, so a project’s delivery time is likely to be within 3-10 days. If your project requires a large quantity of parts, this will extend the delivery time for five-axis CNC machining.

Is FirstMold's five-axis CNC machining suitable for rapid prototyping?

Yes, FirstMold’s five-axis CNC machining is highly suitable for rapid prototyping. Our five-axis equipment can efficiently process complex geometries and high-precision parts, significantly reducing the time required for prototype manufacturing. This allows us to provide high-quality prototype parts in a short time, meeting the needs for rapid iteration and development.

What materials can be processed with five-axis CNC machining?

Metals: Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, copper, brass, and magnesium.

High-temperature alloys: Nickel-based and cobalt-based alloys.

Composites: Carbon fiber and glass fiber composites.

Engineering plastics: Nylon, POM (polyacetal), and polycarbonate.

Ceramics: Alumina and silicon nitride.

What surface treatments are available for five-axis CNC machined parts?

Common surface treatments for five-axis CNC machined parts include anodizing (enhances corrosion resistance and surface hardness, typically for aluminum), electroplating (adds a thin metal layer like nickel, chrome, or zinc for corrosion resistance and aesthetics), painting and powder coating (provides protective and decorative layers), passivation (improves corrosion resistance for stainless steel), heat treatment (such as quenching, tempering, and annealing to improve mechanical properties), polishing (improves surface smoothness and appearance), sandblasting (cleans and roughens surfaces for better adhesion and quality), chemical plating (creates a uniform metal coating via chemical reactions, ideal for complex shapes), and laser etching (marks surfaces with text or patterns for identification and aesthetics). These treatments enhance performance, durability, and appearance.

What is the tolerance for your five-axis CNC machining?

Our five-axis CNC machining typically achieves high tolerance requirements, generally following the ISO 2768 standard. The specific tolerance depends on the complexity of the part, the material used, and customer requirements, but we can reliably maintain a maximum tolerance of around ±0.05 millimeters (±0.002 inches). For precision parts, we can further tighten tolerance requirements to meet specific customer needs.

What advantages does your four and five-axis CNC machining offer compared to other machining factories?

Advanced Equipment: We are equipped with state-of-the-art five-axis CNC machining centers and advanced machinery, ensuring efficient and precise machining.

Rich Experience: Our experienced technical team and operators can handle various complex machining requirements and provide professional advice and technical support.

Customized Services: We can provide customized five-axis CNC machining solutions tailored to the specific needs of our customers, from design optimization to final production, ensuring all requirements are met.

High Quality Standards: We strictly adhere to ISO quality management systems, implementing comprehensive quality control throughout the process to ensure that each part meets customer requirements and standards.

Fast Delivery: With efficient production processes and flexible scheduling, we can respond promptly to customer needs and ensure timely delivery of orders.