The 3-axis vertical machine center is one of the most commonly seen machine center, which is also the best-selling machine center on the market. Although the machining range of 3 axis machine is limited, it’s price is much cheaper compared with 4-axis and 5-axis machine. As long as the 3-axis machine could complete the task, there is no need to invest more money on 4-axis or 5-axis machines. Definitely 4-axis and 5 -axis could process more workpiece, but it’s difficult to make the invested capital achieve good returns. Many machining shop are thinking in this way. This kind of thought seems negative or disappointed. But there are some reasons remain.
What is three-axis Machining?
The 3-axis CNC machine has three straight line moving axes in different directions. These axes are X axis for the direction left and right , Y axis for back and front , Z axis for up and down . The Z axis is the main axis, which could rotate in high speed.Three axes machining is processed by the feed line axes X, Y, Z. The cutting direction is still when the cutting tool is moving along with the trace. But the cutting condition of tool tip can't be perfect simultaneously.
The 3-axis machine center is the 3-axis machine which equipped with tool magazine. According to the moving coordinates and the coordinates controlled by machine center simultaneously, there are 3-axis with 2 linkages, and 3-axis with 3 linkages.
At present, three axes machine center is still the most popular machine center on the market.
Three-Axis CNC Machine Center
What's the Advantages of 3-axis Machining?
1. Easy for programming.
When machining, the tool direction of the 3-axis machine center will change, and the moving mode is also limited, so the programming is relatively easy.
2. High cost performance.
The 3-axis machine center is cheaper than four-axis and five-axis vertical machining centers.
3. Easy for maintenance.
The 3-axis machine center hasn't auxiliary structure like 4-axis and 5-axis machine center. So it's easy for maintenance.
4. Easy for improvement
The 3-axis machine center can be equipped with the fourth axis and the fifth axis. In this way, the machining range will be increased, and it can also machining multiple surfaces with one clamping.
5. Competitive price
Usually, suppliers of 3 axis CNC machining could provide competitive prices on simple parts. As their machines are cheap and easy for programming. Some experienced programmer and operator can even machine complex parts perfectly by using fixture flexibly, which could provide machining solution for complex parts too.
What's the limitation of 3-axis machining?
1. Long tools
The tool length of 3 axis is very long, and the tool cost is very high.
2. Roughness Problems
The roughness problems will be increased due to the vibration of long tools.
The multi-clamping is needed due to the increasing of process.
4. Tool wears
The tool wears are common happened during the machining of 3-axis.
5. Tool quantity
The tool quantity of 3-axis machining is higher than 4 axis-machining or 5-axis machining.
Sometimes, the parts will be over-cut during 3-axis machining, and which will result in N.G parts.
7. Repeat Calibration
Due to 3-axis machining require multi-process and multi-clamping, the calibration need be repeated again and again. The repeat calibration of tools will emerge cumulative tolerance.
8. Difficult for operating
Three axis vertical CNC machine center can perform many process with one clamping, but it can process the top surface only. Briefly, just one machining surface can be processed with one clamping, other machining surfaces are not available, such as the side surface and mounting surface. Usually, operator need multi-clamping to finish one parts, which really challenge the professional of worker.
9. Limited machining range
Due to the inconvenience of clamping, the three-axis vertical machining center mainly used for the machining of disc, sleeve and plate only.
10. Limited machining ability
Four-axis or five-axis machining centers could almost do all the work which three-axis does, but three-axis can't do their works.
11. Long machining cycle
It's the deadly disadvantage of 3-axis machining. In most occasion, 3-axis machining require multiple clamping and many other auxiliary crafts. Such as EDM, wire-cutting, turning and grinding etc. In this way, the machining cycle will be much longer compared with 4-axis or 5 axis machining. The labour cost is increased as well.
The 3-axis machining is superb due to it's programming, cost-efficiency and maintenance etc. But three-axis machining also limited by it's machining range, cycle, quality and precision.
For the manufacturing of simple or small parts, the 3 axis machining is ideal. The three-axis machining is still alive, as they can still meet the current requirement of machining works. And it is cost-effective to both the supplier and customers. But the situation is changing gradually. As the labour cost is becoming more and more expensive, the 3-axis machining won't be that cost-effective in the near future.
The three axis machining is widely used to supply machining service for automotive, motorcycle, robot, machine as well as many other mechanical parts. Available Material: Metals and plastics.