multi-axis machines

The most advanced CNC milling machines, the multi-axis machines add two more axes in addition to the three normal axes (X, Y, Z). Horizontal milling machines also have a C or Q axis, allowing the horizontally mounted work piece to be rotated, essentially allowing asymmetric and eccentric turning. The fifth axis (B axis) controls the tilt of the tool itself. When all of these axes are used in conjunction with each other, extremely complicated geometries, even organic geometries such as a human head, can be made with relative ease. However, the skill to program such geometries is beyond most operators. Therefore, 5-axis milling machines are practically always programmed with CAM.

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