Three Ways a 5-Axis CNC Machine Improves the Plastic Machining Process
Advances in technology depend on increasingly-complex components. Plastic machined components and manifolds are no exception and must perform accurately and consistently in more demanding environments than ever before. While expert engineers can design components that will withstand almost any operating conditions, the process of machining these components can be time-consuming and expensive. Fortunately, advances in plastic machining technology – including 5-axis CNC machines – can save clients both time and money.
What is a 5-Axis CNC Machine?
A computer numerical control (CNC) machine works by using an engineer-generated computer program to direct precision cutting tools to remove material from a block until all that remains is the final component. CNC machines are identified by the number of axes they can cut simultaneously. A 5-axis CNC machine can cut along five axes at once, making it a great option for a highly complex plastic machined component.
How does a 5-axis CNC Machine improve plastic machined parts and manifolds?
1. Reduced Setup Time
Every manufacturer’s goal is to someday achieve “done in one” capabilities – a term that refers to an engineers ability to load a block of material into a machine one time, run the program, and end up with a finished component. Is this an achievable goal? Not yet – but a 5-axis machine gets pretty close. The ability to cut multiple axes at one time reduces the number of times an operator has to reposition the component, which in turn significantly cuts down on the overall machining time.
2. Reduced Costs
A 5-axis CNC machine rotates the component while it cuts – reducing the need for complex fixtures to hold the component in place during the machining process. Designing and creating the fixtures can be a time-consuming and costly undertaking on its own. Removing this requirement will make the overall engineering process faster and will pass along reduced costs to the client.
3. Better Finishes and Unmatched Precision
Different varieties of 5-axis CNC machines feature different cutting capabilities in order to work with different materials. In every case, the ability to cut along five axes at once directly impacts the quality of the final product. These machines can work with any geometry and will create an end product with a precise, smooth, and durable finish. The resulting components will work under the most demanding and high-stakes conditions – from precision medical tools to military-grade technology.
If you need a complex plastic machined part or manifold for your project, a 5-axis CNC machine might, but only if its operated by highly-qualified experts. At Controlled Fluidics, our engineers and machinists work with 5-axis CNC machines frequently at our state-of-the-art facility. We’re happy to discuss your project’s requirements, and share some additional insights into how a 5-axis CNC machine will save you time, save you money, and deliver a superior result.