What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?


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    Default What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?

    Could someone please describe/post pics on the general layout of a typical 4-axis machine? And perhaps the same with 5 and 6 axis? I'm still a noob, so anything above 3 axis still tends to flatten my head...

    Similar Threads:
    snooper's second law: common sense isn't as common as we're led to believe...


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    the 4, 5 and 6 axis are rotational axis so 1, 2 and 3 move back and forth on the x, y and z axis while 4, 5 and 6 moves around them



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    Quote Originally Posted by snooper
    Could someone please describe/post pics on the general layout of a typical 4-axis machine?.....
    Four axis is fairly simple; there is a rotary mechanism with an axis (normally) oriented parallel to the X axis of the machine. The 4th axis can be used just for positioning parts so they can be machined in different orientations as the pictures show. The first picture is parts that are slotted in one orientation and then drilled and counterbored in a position 90 degrees to the slot. Using a rotary axis allowed these operations to be done in a single fixturing. The second picture shows lengths of aluminum round bar that just gets machined to length and tapped in each end. Doing it this way on lengths that were cut off on a high speed bandsaw was much quicker than facing and tapping each end in a lathe.

    The 4th axis can also be run under full program control so complex shapes can be sculpted. I don't have any examples nor do I have any five axis examples.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?-rotexamp1-jpg   What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?-rotexamp2-jpg  


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    Snooper,
    May I suggest this website ... it has alot of good info along with pics of working DIY 5-axis machines, software and what it is capable of producing.
    http://www.rainnea.com/cnc.htm



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    Geof,

    So if I understand correctly, an item can be milled on its top side, then flipped over (or even rotated through 90 degrees) and milled on the other side? (E.g. aircraft model)

    snooper's second law: common sense isn't as common as we're led to believe...


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    Humm almost the side that sits on the table cannot be machine but all other side can but this image does represent all 6 axis where xyz = 123 and abc =456


    actualy that little 5 axis milling in the www.rainnea.com website is quite nice



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    Lets see as I remember.......
    Speaking of horzontal machining centers...
    X axis travels parallel with the horizon.
    Z axis travels perpendicular to X axis and parallel to the centerline of the spindle.
    Y axis travels perpendicular to Z axis and perpendicular to the center line of spindle,
    as well as perpendicular to the travel of X axis.
    Therefore, X axis left and right (looking at the face of the spindle,
    Z axis in and out along the center line of the spindle,
    Y axis up and down perpendicular to the centerline of the spindle.
    In the case of some bigger machines, their is a W Axis. This is when the spindle can
    move in and out and the table can move in and out also. One will be W and the other one will be Z axis. Sometimes the column will move in and out and the spindle will move in and out also, then if the table moves in anbd out also, they will designate one axis w and the other one w' as well as the z axis. "w and w prime".

    Then you have to talk about the rotary axies.
    On a four axis machine, usually the table that rotates with its centerline parallel to the travel of Y axis. would be referred to as B axis.
    If the spindle mounted on Y axis is able to rotate from the horizontal position to a vertical position with its centerline parallel to X axis, it would be referred to as A axis.
    C axis would be like a rotary table mounted so the centerline of the rotation would be parallel to the centerline of the spindle when it is in the horizontal position.
    I think that is what I remember..
    Nappy time Regards Walt

    PS Post # 6 shows a vertical machining center. Z axis up and down...



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    Quote Originally Posted by snooper
    Geof,

    So if I understand correctly, an item can be milled on its top side, then flipped over (or even rotated through 90 degrees) and milled on the other side? (E.g. aircraft model)
    The answer is yes-but.

    The BUT is ... but you have to be able to hold it and sometimes this is not easy. Once you have sorted out the holding problem you can do shapes like that either using all four axes simultaneously or you can divide it into halves or quarters and do these with three axes and just use the 4th to rotate it into the new position.



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    Max,
    Thanks for the link, but I seem to have trouble accessing it... Maybe I'm clicking on it with the wrong button! I'd appreciate any similar links that you might offer.

    snooper's second law: common sense isn't as common as we're led to believe...


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    Moderator Switcher's Avatar
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    It looks like the example in Post#6 is straight to the point! Just remember, that the "X,Y,Z-axis" are Linear moves, and the "A,B,C-axis" are in degrees.

    I think the most used fourth axis is the "A-axis", which is actually very simple, it can rotate 360 degrees (just like a variable spindle).

    .

    Last edited by Switcher; 07-04-2006 at 09:55 AM.


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    On a horizontal milling machine, I would think the B axis rotary table would be the most used. XYZ and B.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards Walt.



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    Walt, why would a B-axis table be used in that scenario? I think you mean A-axis.

    BTW, some machine controllers refer to the spindle as the C-axis. Don't get this confused with a rotary table flat on its back facing up, which is also the C-axis.

    A trunnion table (see the Haas website for pics) combines an A-axis and C-axis. Using such a table would effectively give you a 5-axis machine.

    However, when people speak of 5-axis machines, they're usually talking about machines with articulating heads. That is, the spindle tilts left/right along the X-axis and forward/backward along the Y-axis. These machines are capable of carving out 3-D objects, such as car body models, without moving the workpiece.



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    Zmuba,
    Most of the machines we work on are 4 axis machines.
    Four axis horizontal machining centers. It this case, B axis
    would be the flat table with the centerline of the table straight
    up and down parallel with Y Axis and Perpendicular to the
    center line of the spindle.
    If the truth be known, everything is relative to the center line
    of the spindle. It is easier to start out with X axis and then define
    things from there.
    If you hold your right hand out and point your thumb up its Y
    extend your first finger straight out its Z and point your next
    finger to the right its X. Drop your arm straight to your side
    and the fingers stay the same regarding the axes.
    You are correct regarding A and C axis. For example, the
    head on a tilt head 80 Sundstrand is refered to as A axis
    while the horizontal rotary table is refered to as B axis.
    Yes, the spindle could be refered to as "C" however, the
    spindle is usually not refered to as an axis. However, if
    a rotary axis had a centerline parallel to the spindle, it
    should be refered to as a C axis.
    It should also be explained as soon as something like
    axes are defined, some manufactureer will build a machine
    and change the letters to fit their definitions and they will
    no doubt mess with plus and minus just to ensure
    more wrecks during set up.
    I did not want to start an argument when trying to help
    someone with a question.
    Your turn, tell them, I'll step aside.
    Regards Walt..



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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt@SGS.Inc
    ....It should also be explained as soon as something like axes are defined, some manufactureer will build a machine and change the letters to fit their definitions and they will no doubt mess with plus and minus just to ensure more wrecks during set up.......
    It is all a conspiracy to create more service department income.



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    Now if you were talking about a lathe...
    A four axis lathe simply has two tool turrets both with X and Z axis motion, although the second turret axis are typically labelled U and W. If the spindle is geared for interpolation then this is typically the C axis.

    If you were talking about a wire edm then the Four axis are X and Y and U and V, With U and V being identical to X and Y just a different head.

    Basically as described in post #6 but the secondary axis letters are U, V, and W there are also tertiary letters but I can't remember them at the moment. Their are also secondary and tertiary letters for rotary axis as well. All of these come in to play especially when you start talking about Multitask machines with 8plus axis moving around.

    JP



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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMach
    Basically as described in post #6 but the secondary axis letters are U, V, and W there are also tertiary letters but I can't remember them at the moment. Their are also secondary and tertiary letters for rotary axis as well. All of these come in to play especially when you start talking about Multitask machines with 8plus axis moving around.

    JP
    basicly i know i have seen abc, pqr, uvw and xyz but actualy you could add as much axis as you could put joint or side way table but there is a point were its would become useless actualy pass the sixth axis it will mostly help machining time and not the complexity of the piece



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    This was interesting; thanks to everyone!! Now, if only I could make a world-dominating, mega-articulated, semi-rotational robotic arm...

    ( Hmmm, it must be getting late... )

    snooper's second law: common sense isn't as common as we're led to believe...


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    Default More Information

    could you add the 4 or A axis as a lathe attachment to a small wood router, and if so, could you just use a stepper motor to run it, or would you have to have maybe a small DC motor with speed control.



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    Now try an 8-axis Boko mill or an 8-axis gear hobber. BTW, I believe A on a HMC is perpendicular to X & Y. At least that's what I was taught, but that was a long time ago.

    note: check with the CNC Swiss auto's They have a lot of axes on some of them.

    Last edited by RICHARD ZASTROW; 03-02-2007 at 07:21 PM. Reason: added note
    DZASTR


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    Default Software?

    So what machine control software can you get/are people using, for 4 axis + type diy machines?

    Is all the software above 3 axis propritory to specific manufacturers or are there any off the shelf control solutions available, and how much do they cost?

    Also, I imagine that a CAD/CAM program capable of generating above 3 or 4 axis toolpaths would be fairly intense (Read: "expensive"!) ? Thanks.



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What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?

What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?

What does a 4-axis CNC machine look like?