Advantages of 5-axis linkage machines

The so-called five-axis machining here refers to the fact that there are at least five coordinate axes (three linear coordinates and two rotary coordinates) on a machine tool, and the simultaneous coordinated movement can be processed under the control of the computer numerical control (CNC) system. Compared with the general three-axis linkage CNC machining, such five-axis linkage CNC machining has the following advantages:

1. It can process continuous and smooth free-form surfaces that cannot be processed by general three-axis CNC machine tools or are difficult to be processed in one clamping. For example, the blades of aero engines and steam turbines, the screw thrusters used in ships, and many shells and molds with special curved surfaces and complex cavities and hole positions, such as ordinary three-axis CNC machine tools, because the attitude angle of the tool relative to the workpiece cannot be changed in the processing process, when machining some complex freeform surfaces, there may be interference or underprocessing (that is, it cannot be processed). When processing with a five-axis linkage machine tool, the attitude angle of the tool/workpiece can be adjusted at any time during the machining process, the interference of the tool workpiece can be avoided and all the processing can be completed in one clamping;

2.it can improve the machining accuracy, quality and efficiency of spatial freeform surfaces. For example, when the three-axis machine tool processes a complex curved surface, the ball nose milling cutter is mostly adopted, and the ball nose milling cutter is formed by point contact, and the cutting efficiency is low, and the attitude angle of the cutter/workpiece can not be adjusted in the machining process, and it is generally difficult to ensure that the best cutting point on the ball nose milling cutter (i.e., the highest point of the ball head line speed) is used to cut, and it is possible that the cutting point falls on the rotation center line that the ball nose cutter line speed is equal to zero, as shown at the tool position a shown in Figure 1. In this case, not only is the cutting efficiency extremely low, the quality of the machined surface deteriorates severely, but also manual repair is often required, so accuracy may be lost. If the five-axis machine tool is used, because the attitude angle of the tool/workpiece can be adjusted at any time, not only can this situation be avoided, but also the best cutting point of the tool can be fully used to cut at all times, or the spiral end mill of line contact forming can be used to replace the ball nose milling cutter of point contact forming, and even milling can be carried out by further optimizing the attitude angle of the tool/workpiece, so as to obtain higher cutting speed, cutting line width, that is, to obtain higher cutting efficiency and better machining surface quality, Figure 3 shows an example comparing the effects of milling the same freeform surface at a constant pose angle with an optimized pose angle. It is not difficult to see that the surface roughness of the blade milled by the constant attitude angle (Sturz method) is one level lower than that of the blade milled by the optimized attitude angle (P milling method – Starrag’s patent), and the time taken by the former is 30%~130% more than that of the latter;
Average Ra value for surface quality grades
N8 1.6-3.2μm
N7 0.8-1.6μm
N6 0.4-0.8μm
N5 0.2-0.4μm

3. In line with the development direction of machine tools that can complete all or most of the processing of the workpiece in one clamping. Because with the development of science and technology and the improvement of people’s material living standards, people’s requirements for product performance and quality are also higher, and the forms are more diversified and personalized. In order to further improve the performance and quality of products, fully meet the user’s requirements, such as energy saving, material saving, lightweight, beautiful, comfortable, etc., modern products, not only aviation, aerospace products and vehicles (such as cars, ships, ships, etc.), but also include precision instruments, meters, medical, sports equipment, as well as household, office appliances and children’s toys and other product parts, are more and more made of the overall material milling, and it also contains many kinds of complex surfaces and oblique holes, inclined planes, etc. These parts, such as those machined with conventional machine tools or three-axis CNC machines, must be completed with multiple machine tools and multiple positioning installations. In this way, not only the equipment investment is large, the production area is occupied, the production and processing cycle is long, and the accuracy and quality are difficult to guarantee. In order to solve these problems, it is necessary to develop machine tools that can concentrate on the process for high-precision, high-efficiency and composite processing, in order to achieve all or most of the processing of the workpiece in one clamping. This has become a major trend in the development of machine tools today, and five-axis machine tools equipped with high-speed machining capabilities are fully in line with this development and may be the best solution. Because it not only has the main functions required by modern production and processing equipment, but also the ergonomics of a five-axis machine tool is about equivalent to two three-axis machining machines, and even more machine tools can be dispensed with.

4. the advantages of mold processing.
In traditional mold processing, vertical machining centers are generally used to complete the milling of workpieces. With the continuous development of mold manufacturing technology, some weaknesses of the vertical machining center itself are becoming more and more obvious. Modern mold processing generally uses ball nose milling cutter to process, ball nose milling cutter brings benefits in mold processing is very obvious, but if you use vertical machining center, the linear speed of its bottom surface is zero, so that the finish of the bottom surface is very poor, if you use four-axis and five-axis linkage machine tool processing technology to process mold, you can overcome the above shortcomings.
The clamping of workpieces is made easy due to the use of a five-axis simultaneous machine (fig. 1). There is no need for special fixtures during processing, which reduces the cost of fixtures, avoids multiple clamping, and improves the machining accuracy of molds. The use of 5-axis technology to machine the mold can reduce the number of fixtures used. In addition, the five-axis simultaneous machine tool can eliminate many special tools in machining, so the tool cost is reduced. Five-axis linkage machine tools can increase the effective cutting edge length of the tool, reduce the cutting force (Fig. 2), improve the service life of the tool, and reduce the cost. The use of five-axis linkage machine tool processing mold can quickly complete mold processing, fast delivery, better ensure the processing quality of the mold, make the mold processing easier, and make the mold modification easy.

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