Why Choose a Shop with 5-Axis Machining Capabilities?

5 Axis Machining Capabilities

We’re not going to tell you that every part requires 5-axis machining capabilities.

But we will let you in on a secret: even if a part can be made on a 3- or 4-axis machine, 5-axis machining is often the easiest, most cost-effective option.

Of course, it’s important to choose a shop that leverages the full potential of this equipment. Here at RPI, our advanced technologies, expertise, and efficient use of 5-axis machining ensure you’ll get the parts you need—on time and within budget.

Understanding 5-Axis Machining 

There are different types of 5-axis machining, including 3+2 axis and true 5-axis. A 3+2-axis machine may add up to 5 axes, but it’s just a 3-axis machine with added rotation and lacks many benefits of a true 5-axis machine.

5-axis machining uses CNC to move tools across five different axes simultaneously. While a 3-axis CNC machine can get the job done with just X, Y, and Z axes, adding A and B to the equation can drastically reduce the time spent manufacturing each part—for example, from 2.5 hours to 20 minutes.

True 5-axis machines can remove material without needing someone to step in and reposition parts. Minimizing human intervention results in more consistent and higher-quality parts. And workers can spend their extra time maximizing large-scale efficiency. It’s a win-win.

Benefits of 5-axis machining for complex parts

Having 5 axes of rotation allows us to machine on multiple sides of parts and achieve complex geometries. The increased capability to rotate workpieces combined with different tool angles makes creating challenging parts simple.

For aerospace machining jobs involving parts with tight tolerances and complex features, a 5-axis machine will get the job done efficiently and accurately.

Getting the Most from 5-Axis Machining 

5-axis machining opens many doors for cost reduction, but only when utilized to its full potential. At RPI, we combine our 5-axis machines with a pallet system to maximize cost-effectiveness. 

A pallet is a movable part of a machine that can be programmed to switch out finished parts for raw materials. With proper software, materials can be placed on pallets ahead of time and scheduled for lights-out machining.

Using a pallet system to automate 5-axis machining makes it faster and more cost-effective. When choosing a machine shop, it’s worth asking if they use a pallet system to be confident you’re getting your money’s worth.

Choosing the Right Machine for Each Project 

At RPI, customer needs come first. We evaluate each part and select the appropriate machine, whether it has 3, 4, or 5 axes. Our extensive machining options and smart use of software empower us to rise to every occasion. 

Our California machine shop has 3-axis, 3+2-axis, 4-axis, and true 5-axis machines with 10-pallet and 32-pallet robotic systems. We have the flexibility to schedule new and repeat jobs depending on part complexity, material type, and part quantity.

Our 5-axis machines are programmed by experienced engineers using sophisticated software. We use Mastercam and Esprit to facilitate efficient machining and CAMplete for machine-specific simulation and machine monitoring. These programs help us meet the needs of every customer efficiently.

We have many specialty customers who require everything from medical to aerospace machining. With such diverse customers, we don’t hesitate to run all types of materials, from aluminum and plastics to hard alloys like titanium, Inconel, and Invar. Our machines can handle anything.

Let us put our machines to the test for your project. Request a quote today.