Anyone who runs a 5-axis machine knows how important accurate centerline measurements can be for accurate machining. Often times, however, when troubleshooting process issues, or after a slight “bump” of the machine, there might be a need to verify or re-measure these centerline values. This usually requires a costly service call, and, even more painful, costly downtime of the machine while waiting. Although there is no substitute for the accuracy of the certified kit used by Hurco and distributor service personnel, this procedure will hopefully allow customers to keep their machines up and running (even if it is only while waiting for the service technician to arrive).Read More
CNC Machining Blog
I recently received a comment on one of my previous blog posts – “5-Axis Programming: programming with tool vectors”- asking about how to designate a 5-axis Transform Planes using IJK UVW vector tokens, instead of the traditional ABC rotary axis designations. Instead of just replying to that comment, I thought I would write this post as a response. Since this will be a continuation of the previous article on tool vectors, I suggest that you read and understand using IJK tool vectors as a pre-cursor to this article.
The idea behind creating a transform plane using vectors is exactly the same as programming tool movement with IJK tool vectors; however, the difference lies in the fact that you will have two separate vectors…using IJK for one and UVW for the second one. The reason you need for two separate “legs” for this function, is because you cannot designate a plane with only one axis. I will use the floor inside a room as my analogy…you could not create a floor in a room without having at least two walls. With only one, the floor would simply spin around the single axis, and could actually point in any direction. To accommodate the two legs of the transform plane, and because we want to determine the direction of the Z-axis ultimately, we will use the X-axis and Y-axis as our legs, or walls of the desired transform plane.Read More
In February of 2013 I posted an article titled: “5-Axis…it just ain’t that scary”, and to date it has been one of the most popularly read articles in my blog series. So, I thought I would expand on that article a little bit, and dive a little deeper into what can be done with 5-axis technology…and show how even the advanced features of 5-axis really aren't anything more than multi-axis common sense, when you break it down.Read More
Hurco recently partnered with Modern Machine Shop magazine for an educational online 5-axis webinar, called: “Take Five for 5-Axis”. It was very well received by everyone who attended, and the feedback afterward was outstanding. In this webinar, I try to present this information in a very simple way, and attempt to explain things in a manner that even those who have no history of 5-axis machining can understand it. After all, that was the intention…to educate and teach!Read More
As machinists we apply our skill, knowledge and experience to produce the best looking and most accurate parts that we can. We take a great deal of pride in the products that we produce, and we want others to see that pride in the finished product. But what do we do when we aren’t getting the results that we want? When dimensionally the parts meet blueprint specifications, but the surface finish and overall appearance is less than desirable? When this happens we need to go back the basics and ensure that we are using the best machining practices that we know to be correct.
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There are several things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new 5-axis machining center. To be successful, you must make sure that the machine will fit all of your needs, not just your current one. Often times the purchase of a 5-axis machine is driven by a particular job or part, and sometimes shops fail to consider the other work they could run on the machine. Remember, size does matter.
Earlier this year, I reviewed the results from the Benchmarking Report by Modern Machine Shop called TOP SHOPS and promised to give you an update when the 2013 results were published. This blog post only touches on a fraction of the information contained in this incredibly extensive report—the Executive Summary alone is 22 pages—so I encourage you to explore Modern Machine Shop’s TOP SHOPS ZONE
Regardless of a particular OEM machine builder, there are several common machine configurations for 5-axis that are available - and each one has its own set of strengths that make it stand out among the choices. The most common types are: Table-Table, Head-Table, and Head-Head configurations.
When programming in 5-axis, we have two distinct options that we can use to command rotary moves and positions. We can output the data using either rotary angles, or tool vectors. Although each one has its pros and cons, I would prefer to configure a postprocessor to output these rotary commands as IJK tool vectors, instead of the more common ABC axis rotary angles, if given a choice.