CNC machines are devices that can create three-dimensional objects by moving a tool along different axes. The number of axes determines the type of work the CNC machine can do, the level of precision, and much more. In this blog post, we will compare 3 axis, 4 axis, and 5 axis CNC machines and their uses.
- 3 Axis CNC Machine: A 3 axis CNC machine can move along three axes: X (left to right), Y (front to back), and Z (up and down). A 3 axis CNC machine can work on each axis at the same time. These machines are mostly used for cutting flat 2D and 2.5D parts2, such as signs, plaques, furniture, etc. A 3 axis CNC machine is relatively simple, affordable, and easy to use.
- 4 Axis CNC Machine: A 4 axis CNC machine can move along four axes: X, Y, Z, and A (rotation around X). A 4 axis CNC machine can work on three linear axes and one rotational axis at the same time. These machines are used for creating complex shapes and contours with high precision and accuracy, such as carvings, sculptures, molds, etc. A 4 axis CNC machine is more advanced, flexible, and efficient than a 3 axis machine.
- 5 Axis CNC Machine: A 5 axis CNC machine can move along five axes: X, Y, Z, A, and B (rotation around Y) or C (rotation around Z). A 5 axis CNC machine can work on three linear axes and two rotational axes at the same time. These machines are used for producing very complex parts with tight tolerances and smooth surfaces, such as artificial bones, aerospace parts, military products, etc. A 5 axis CNC machine is the most sophisticated, versatile, and productive type of CNC machine.
As you can see, the differences between a 3 axis, 4 axis, and 5 axis CNC machine are significant and affect their capabilities, costs, and applications. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose the best type of CNC machine for your project.