The Amazing Options With Multi Axis Milling


One of the amazing things about technology is the ability to take a simple and basic operation and turn it into a production method that is light years beyond what the original inventors could have ever imagined.

The first lathes were used in Ancient Egypt, Assyria and Greece. The actual invention of the lathe is not attributed to any one person, but it was first believed to have been used in 1300 BCE in Ancient Egypt. It continued to be a central part of woodworking and was even considered to be the “mother of machine tools” having made the construction of other machines possible during the Industrial Revolution.

Fast forward some 200 years and the invention of NC (numerical control) shortly followed by CNC (Computer Numerical Control) and you now have the possibility of milling or using tools just not just on one axis but on several. This multi axis milling allows for complete control over the shape and design of the component in ways not possible before.

Complicated Shapes Made Simple

The entire multi axis milling process starts with the development of the computer model. This technology allows the engineer and designer to work together to create not only the desired shape but to also troubleshoot the design virtually rather than with multiple prototypes.

Once the design is finished, it is reduced to a digital representation by the software. This, in turn, will be used to control the milling machine. The different types of milling machines, which are either vertical or horizontal, have five unique axis configurations. These axes describe the horizontal and vertical directions (X and Y) as well as up and down (Z). There are also two rotational directions called A and B.

This allows the multi axis milling machine to literally create any shape and form. Complex shapes with asymmetrical features or shapes or any other possible combination is possible without the limitations of a single axis machine.

The computer moves the tools, creating a perfect and precise shape based on the original computer model with every piece. There is no degradation or change in the parts between two consecutive parts or between the first part and the millionth part.

Additionally, these machines don’t require the part to be moved manually for access by the tool to finish the shape. This speeds up production and eliminates any errors that could occur with manual repositioning.

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