What Is 5 Axis Cnc Machining: The Advantages Of Cnc Machining Center?


5 Axis Cnc Machining 

5 Axis CNC is a most modern method of mechanical processing today. We use it to meet the needs of precision machining with high complexity.

Businesses require investment in 5-axis CNC machines and 5-axis CNC programming is also one of the jobs with the future in the near future.

Therefore, being proficient in operating 5-axis CNC machines as well as 5-axis programming software becomes really necessary for mechanical engineers.

5 Axis CNC Milling Machine: The Future of Precision Machining

Responding to the very evolving needs of different production sectors, object manufacturing techniques have evolved a lot in recent years. Machining, which is one of these main techniques, makes it possible to obtain products of great precision thanks to a process of modeling a raw material by chip removal.

Formerly carried out following 3-axis paths with relatively rudimentary machine tools, it has been greatly modernized with the gradual generalization of 5-axis CNC machines.

Currently on the market there are many different types of processing machines, in which 5-axis machining is the increasingly popular type of machine. To learn more about this machine, please “follow” to find out in the article below!

What is a 5 axis machine?

5-axis machine is a processing machine that applies machining technology with 5 main axes all fixed on a rack. For this model, all 5 axes can be moved on the main axes such as X, Y, Z. In addition, the 5 Axis CNC Milling Machine can also rotate on the A, B, and C axes.

The 5-axis machining machine is considered the most modern and advanced machine on the market today. The machine is designed with 5 shaft heads; each shaft will take on a different function. The operating mechanism of the 5-axis CNC machine with 5 directions allows users to create different types of joints, depending on the type of product you manufacture.

In order to obtain better results thanks to the 5-axis CNC milling machine, it is necessary to understand its characteristics and operation. The 5-axis CNC milling machine is a tool that is increasingly in demand at an industrial level due to the wide versatility of use and the extreme ability to respond to the needs of quality and quantity.

So what is the “5” in the 5-axis machine name?

Basically, 5-axis machining is a form of CNC machining. Conventional CNC machines will have 3 translational axes of the machine and name them X, Y and Z respectively. But with this configuration, the machining ability is limited and cannot process inaccessible tool corners or areas. The area to be cut too deep does not guarantee rigidity when machining.

With the 2 extra spindles on the 5-axis CNC machine, access to previously difficult areas is solved by easily tilting the part or spindle head.

These rotation axes will basically rotate around the basic X, Y, Z axes and are named A, B, C respectively. There are still special machine configurations that do not rotate around the 3 basic axes to not wider working space for suitable purposes.

What is 5 axis CNC machining?

Machining CNC 5 axis means that embryos can be cut automatically in the same time.

In addition to basic movements along the X, Y and Z axes automatically. 5 axis CNC machine can choose 2 out of 3 rotary axes (A, B, C) to use. The A, B and C axes rotate 180° around the X, Y and Z axes respectively.


  • X-axis moves from left to right
  • Y axis moves from front to back
  • Z axis moves up and down
  • A-axis rotates 180° around the X-axis
  • The B axis rotates 180° around the Y – axis
  • C-axis rotates 180° around Z .-axis

5-axis machining is applied on 5-axis CNC machines to create complex, rigid and high-precision products.

What are the 5 axes in milling?

More and more manufacturers are using 5-axis CNC machines to reduce costs, improve accuracy and increase profits. The strategy of switching to 5-axis machines often allows not only reducing the length of the production cycle, but also allows employees to do their work more efficiently.

It provides manufacturers with a competitive edge on more complex jobs with the potential to generate higher bottom line. This strategy is not a “Chinese literacy”, and the concept itself ensures the return of production processes to activity.

Advantages of 5-axis CNC milling machine

  1. The work with the machine and the production process itself is greatly simplified;
  2. The range of technological possibilities is expanding;
  3. It becomes possible to process parts of very different, even complex shapes. At the same time, there is no need to stop the machine and re-fix the workpiece on the desktop;
  4. High processing accuracy is achieved and, accordingly, its quality increases;
  5. Time is saved, since the speed of part manufacturing increases;
  6. There is a possibility, if necessary, to carry out operational reconfiguration of the machine;
  7. The number of probes and the percentage of rejections are reduced, since the production process eliminates the human factor.

Processing of products of complex shape in the defense and aerospace industries where it is required to process products with high precision with a high degree of accuracy, the use of 5-axis machining centers gives the maximum effect.

Additional axes allow machining of arcs, corners and difficult surfaces (such as turbine blades, impellers, etc.). With three-axis machining, this requires reinstallation of the product, which reduces machining accuracy and requires additional time.

Increased tool life: 5-axis machining allows parts to be oriented closer to the cutting tool: optimal tilt allows a shorter cutting tool to be used, which will vibrate less, resulting in a longer tool life and improved product surface;

Finished product in one setup: processing the product without reinstallation significantly reduces cycle times and increases efficiency;

Improve machining efficiency

5-axis machining can effectively reduce the machining time and auxiliary time of parts.

This allows machining at high spindle speeds and feed rates thus providing powerful and powerful cutting power.

The rapid movement and positioning of 5-axis machining and high-speed cutting help reduce product lead times. At the same time improve efficiency and precision in production.

Ensure product accuracy

5-axis machining reduces the number of workpiece placement times. Therefore, the workpiece will not be displaced during machining. This helps to ensure product accuracy.

Higher quality of machined surface

Using short knives minimizes deflection, minimizes vibration, and produces smooth and precise cuts.

When using a spherical end mill it is generally recommended that the point of contact of the tool head does not rotate around the tip.

5-axis machining with the ability to tilt the workpiece, will be able to access the entire desired cutting area. This not only improves the surface quality but also increases the tool life.

What is CNC Machining Center?

First of all, I would like to talk about the CNC machining center, which we often hear in industrial applications. A CNC machining center is the collection of multiple machine functions and production processes on a single machine. A CNC machining center is machines capable of processing products with high precision and quality.

Milling, drilling and turning operations can be done with CNC machining centers. Before this technology, production and processing processes were divided into many parts. This meant a waste of time and money for the manufacturer. But CNC machining centers offer many functions to the manufacturer on a single machine.

CNC machining centers are also divided into types such as:

  1. Vertical
  2. horizontal and
  3. Universal machining centers.

There are also 3-axis and 5-axis CNC machining centers according to the number of axes.

What is 5 Axis CNC Machining Center?

The 5 axis CNC machining center has 3 linear and 2 rotational axes that can work simultaneously to enable the machining of complex surfaces. While simple machining centers only work on the X, Y and Z axis linearly, the 5-axis CNC machining center also works on the A and B axes of rotation.

Advantages of 5 Axis CNC Machining Center

5-axis CNC machining provides cost-effective production and versatile machining. In general, the following advantages can be listed:

  • Simplified setup
  • Complex Designs
  • Axis of Rotation Accuracy
  • Better Surface
  • Faster Processing

The 5-axis CNC machining center, which has the capacity to process products in a total of 5 axes, including 3 linear and 2 rotation axes, provides the best performance on difficult product surfaces of different designs, while saving time and money due to its fast processing. The higher the number of axes, the more detailed, precise and high quality product processing function.

5 Axis Machining Enhancing technological capabilities

Some complex parts cannot be machined on a 3-axis CNC machine or require multiple attachments.

With the outstanding advantages of 5-axis machining with the support of 5-axis CNC machines, it is possible to process complex parts, requiring operators and programmers to have extensive knowledge.

Difference between 5-axis CNC machining and 4-axis CNC machining

4 axis CNC machining

4-axis CNC machining includes an additional axis in addition to the usual X, Y, and Z axes.

This additional movement is present as rotation along the X axis, forming a fourth plane – the A axis (horizontally) or along the B axis (vertically).

However, horizontal machining offers higher productivity than vertical machining. It is more common to machine 4 axis A.

This type of machining is often used for cutting holes, cutting arcs or engraving cuts; especially on the sides or around the cylinder.

5 axis CNC machining

In 5-axis machining, the X, Y, and Z axes are similar to 3-axis.

The table will rotate along axis A (4th axis). This is followed by rotation along the C-axis – the 5th movement.

5-axis machining allows the operator to manipulate five different sides of a part simultaneously depending on the complexity of the design.

It is widely used in medical technology, research and development, architecture, military, automotive industry and even creative arts.

However, programming CAD/CAM for 5-axis machines is extremely complicated, especially when visualizing spatial trajectories.

What is the difference between CNC milling and turning and the Machining Center?

The CNC machining center is the equipment capable of bringing together in a single machine several tools and resources for the production of parts with varied profiles, it is the famous multitasking.

This way you would not need to have a lathe and a 5 Axis CNC Milling Machine even if they have the numeric command feature. The machining center has a more robust structure and a greater variety of tools, so it is hardly limited.

To make this possible, machining centers work with what we call axes, yes they are the same coordinate axes you are thinking of. The most common machining centers have three or five axes.

The axes of the machining centers

In fact, the machining center is made up of at least three X, Y and Z axes.
They allow the positioning of the piece in any point of the space. The X and Y axes are the axes of the plane while the Z (vertical) axis represents the spindle axis.

The structure of a machining center consists of:
  • Base
  • the carriage
  • the upright
  • the head
  • pallet and the rotary table.

The base that represents the base of the machining center has the important function of absorbing vibrations and conferring thermal stability.

The carriage realizes the X axis, the mounted represents the vertical column on the carriage that holds the spindle and realizes the Y axis. The head, on the other hand, has the important function of supporting the spindle and moves along the Y axis.

Finally we have the pallet and the turntable.

It rotates around the vertical axis, can tilt around the horizontal axis and blocks the pallet for processing.

In fact, the machining center also has secondary elements, which although not indispensable for processing the piece.

Configuration types of 5 axis CNC machine?

Different types of 5-axis CNC machines available on the market can be summarized into 3 main types:

Head-head machine: both rotating axes of the machine are used to control the axis of the cutter. This machine configuration allows the tool to move around the part to be machined, so it can be used with large sized products. The advantage of this configuration is that because it is mounted on the spindle head, the tool tilt range will be limited according to the size of the spindle.

Head-table machine: The spindle on the main shaft has only limited tilting due to the size of the main shaft; the turntable on the table can rotate unlimitedly. Because the part is placed on the turntable, the size is limited according to the diameter of the turntable. This configuration helps to solve the problem of limited rotation on head-head machines as the turntable can rotate unlimitedly so that the tool can better reach the part.

Table- machine: 2 rotating axes are located on the machine table, directly rotate and tilt the part so that the cutter reaches the areas to be machined. As with table-table machines, machine configurations with both axes of rotation on the table are also limited to tilt and unlimited axes. This machine configuration is suitable for small and medium-sized workpieces to meet all of your machining needs.

In addition, there will be configuration variations from 3 basic forms as mentioned above. For example, the rotating or tilting axes are not perpendicular to the 3 basic axes to increase the working space for the machine.

How many axles do you need?

The number of axes is one way of describing the types of CNC machine tools. The axes determine the direction of movement of the tool or workpiece. For a long time, three axes were common. Most of the machines now have 5 axes.

Machine tools with 6 or more axes are also spreading further. The higher the number of axes, the more complicated a workpiece can be.

Manufacturing processes: primary shaping, reshaping, separating (dividing, cutting, removing), joining, coating, changing material properties

Design: Inclined bed, gantry or flat bed, for example

Position of the main spindle: vertical or horizontal

Range of application: universal, special or special machine

With CNC machine tools, the trend is towards multitasking processing. New concepts for machine tools that implement different technologies in one machine are constantly emerging. A CNC machining center, for example, combines the functions of turning, milling and drilling machines.

How to get the most out of 5-axis machining center?

This question will be asked by yourself, your employees and many people who are interested in this subject. In response, we want to approach it from a different angle. Think of smart phones, which almost everyone has at least one, they have a lot of applications that make our life easier; they are open to continuous development from map directions to our routine operations.

This is how 5-axis machining is. 5-axis machining does not only serve as a standard machine tool, but also stands ready to keep up with the development of 5-axis technology.

Today, thousands of researchers are working on the best surface quality and the seamless development of final product. That’s why the 5-axis machining center offers you an environment where you can implement future improvements.

Based on what we said above, other advantages of using a 5-axis machining center are the ability to do more in less time, reducing the need for skilled personnel, and allowing high precision machining of complex workpieces and parts for the aerospace industry.


Which clamping devices are special for 5 axes milling machines?

Even though the 5-axis machining center allows you to gain profitability and high efficiency only with the advantages of the machine itself, it also allows you to have the highest efficiency and the shortest downtime thanks to the additional apparatus.

In this regard, with 5-axis clamp systems and zero-point clamp tables for 5-axis clamps, you can achieve the same precision every time, provide the full performance of your machine with its strong workpiece holding capability, and you can achieve great gains by clamping the workpiece in seconds.

How many axes can a CNC machine have?

A CNC machine has various axes and we can use them according to our requirement.  Commonly these machines have 3-axes to perform any task this machine is more common in use. CNC machines have overall 3-axes to 12-axes in the market.

Software that supports 5-axis CNC programming


HyperMILL® 5 AXIS is today’s version of the most efficient 5-axis programming support software available.

The first thing users think of hyperMILL is its superior 5-axis machining programmability. Because most of Open-Mind’s marketing materials focus on the highly efficient and extremely safe 5-axis machining capabilities of this software.

When it comes to programming 5-axis machining, hyperMILL has more than just general programming solutions. But there are also product packages for specific products.

Thanks to these solution packages, programming complex parts such as helical blades, integrated turbine blades, tires, and vehicle engines becomes much easier and faster. But still ensure safety when machining on 5-axis machines.


When programming CNC turning and milling machine parts, MasterCAM is the first software that comes to mind.

With the advantage of fast calculation speed and user-friendliness, MasterCAm is extremely popular.

MasterCAM can also program 5-axis and Mill-Turn machining. Built-in machining simulation feature on software before running on 5-axis machines.

Siemens NX

Siemens NX is a total CAD/CAE/CAM solution widely applied in many fields related to aviation, automobile, shipbuilding, etc.

In terms of machining programming, professional machining centers offer a huge range of technologies ranging from 3/4/5 Axis CNC Milling Machine programming to combined turning and turning. Comes with a machining simulation application to ensure absolute safety before running on the CNC machine.


In recent years, PowerMill is also widely used in 5-axis machining programming.

The software has general and specific 5-axis machining solutions for components such as helical blades, integrated turbine blades, engine holes.

From understanding 5-axis CNC as well as 5-axis programming software, you can use this machining method more accurately. At the same time, it also helps you choose the right 5-axis CNC machine for your machining needs.

Final Thoughts

5-axis cnc machining offers significant benefits, including faster lead times, improved efficiency and longer tool life.

However, it is important to understand that achieving these benefits requires more than just buying the latest 5-axis machining center. There are many factors to consider before directly starting machining a part.

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