A CNC router is a completely computer controlled materials machining equipment. CNC routers can consist of three to nine axes. The users need to choose their CNC routers along with their machining bits according to the complexity of the projects. Here in this article we will discuss a 5 axis CNC router and how to design one.
The term “axis” complies with the idea that the number of directions the cutting ends can regulate. On a 5-axis CNC router the machining tool can move
to the linear axis X, Y, Z and can also rotate across the A and B axis on the workpiece from any side.
A 5-axis CNC router is a versatile cutting tool with excellent accumulative technology. By using this machining technique the 5 axis cutting tool of the CNC router delivers the final job with a high level of accuracy and perfection. The process is set by using the Computer Aided Design or CAD file that helps to manage the tool paths which instruct the cutting tool to act as commands and with repetitive efficiency. After programming the machining tool by this particular computing language, the tool’s work becomes completely automatic. This computer controlling system minimizes manual actions to a great extent.
As a 5-axis CNC router has more numbers of axes than 3 axis or 2 axis CNC router, therefore it’s milling capacities are greater than the rest. With the configured programming commands a 5-axis CNC router demands minimal supervision. The best part of a 5+axis CNC router is, it is incredible in precise machining with exact accuracy that is also immediately after single up. This is why the 5-axis CNC router is implemented by most of the manufacturing industries.
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Designing a 5-axis CNC Router
If you own a basic triple axis CNC router but you want to turn it to a 5 axis CNC machining tool, you will require a few important supplies that will be essential for this conversion. Let’s check what those are in the next section!
- One triple axis CNC router like CNC 2417 Mini ( there are a lot of other models in the market. I just picked it up for a general example)
- Two NEMA 17 Stepper Motors
- Two GT2 Timing Belts (2mm Pitch 6mm Width, one 224mm 112 teeth and one 200mm 100 teeth)
- Five Stepper Motor Driver Controller Boards (TB6600)
- One MACH3 USB CNC Interface Board (BL-UsbMach-v2.1)
- Screws, Nuts, Shafts, Cables and Connectors…
- One Relay module
- One ATX PC Power supply
- Four 608RS 8 x 22 x 7 mm Deep Groove Ball Bearings
After buying a CNC router, your very first task will be to assemble it properly according to the user manual provided with the tool box. Or else you can ask
the shopkeeper where you buy it from about the assembling procedure. The best option is to google it! There are ample videos on youtube out there that will definitely help you to fix the CNC router’s parts correctly. The parts are just like legos, you need to fit the parts together as stated in the manual picture step by step. Just make sure that you have bought a CNC router that matches your router table’s slots.
Trunnion table step
After settling your basic CNC router to the router table, to convert it to a 5-axis cutting tool, you will need two more additional rotatable axes. The most common layout for this is a trunnion table that would be mounted on the top of your router table. To attach all the parts together you will require lots of nuts and bolts that should be of M3. You might need roller bearings and 8 mm smooth shafts too.
After you are done connecting the motors and the respective motor drives to the Mach3 USB board, the system will require a high power supply. So, that’s where you will need the ATX Power supply. It is an intermediate custom made board to supply 12 Volt output to the stepper drivers alongside the router spindle. So, this completes the basic designing of a 5-axis CNC router.
I would recommend you to search for videos, too, alongside these instructions to make your job easier.