What Machine Simulation Can Do For You – Part 5

Develop a sequential strategy for growing multiaxis machine capabilities

When newcomers think about multiaxis machining, their minds often jump to the manufacturing of complex geometries like blisks and impellers. These are, in fact, very complex examples of 5-axis work and only a small percentage of 5-axis users actually make parts like these. There is actually a long list of multiaxis CNC capabilities ranging from simple 4-axis contouring to continuous 5-axis machining of complex geometries.
Whenever possible, gain experience on the simpler multiaxis machining strategies, using machine simulation as a learning and training tool. Once you become proficient in a relatively straightforward multiaxis machining application, move on to something more difficult.

If you are proficient in 3-axis programming, it is fairly simple to move into a single setup 3 + 2 program using the multiaxis system to index the part to the correct coordinates for the next machine operation. Indexing the part on a multiaxis machine (with the confidence that clearances have been checked via machine simulation) is vastly more productive than changing setups for multiple operations on a 3-axis machine.
With this sequential approach to growing your 5-axis expertise, your equipment will be paying for itself in very short order.

Try out the same job on multiple machines
Every CNC machine has different strengths and weaknesses, and if you use several different multiaxis machines, it is often difficult to predict which one will be best for a particular job. You really have to run the part to find out, and this could waste a great deal of time and material if you make the wrong choice. With machine simulation, you can avoid this conundrum by simulating the manufacturing process for the same part on several machines. Usually the machine that is best for the job at hand will become obvious.

See the next post in this series for more game-changing machine simulation applications.

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