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Hurco Machinist Publishes 5-Axis Book at TOP SHOPS Conference

Yesterday and today, we were at the TOP SHOPS conference right here in our backyard...Indianapolis (which has been the hometown of Hurco since the company was founded in 1968). The Hurco crew decided this conference that celebrates the excellence found in job shops across North America would be the perfect venue to launch Mike Cope's book,"The Power of FIVE: The Definitive Guide to 5-Axis Machining"

Mike Cope (or "Mr. 5-Axis" as I call him) was co-owner of a job shop before he joined Hurco as an Applications Engineer. As a machinist, he always evaluates the most efficient way to approach a part to minimize setup time and reduce cycle time. It’s just part of his DNA. That’s precisely why he is such a proponent of 5-axis.  Adopting a 5-sided machining process is the most efficient way for shops to instantly increase their profit margin on existing parts they are manufacturing on conventional  5x book cover.png3-axis machines. One of our customers compared the adoption of 5-axis processes to the transition from manual machining to CNC. He said bluntly, “If you’re not doing this, you’re going to get left behind.”

In addition to helping Hurco customers and distributor sales people in the field, Mike has shared his 5-axis expertise at numerous manufacturing events around the world. In fact, the idea for this book originated as he was preparing his presentation for the TOP SHOPS conference. While he was making updates to his 5-axis presentation, he conducted research online to see if there were new topics he should address. That's when he realized there weren’t any books that provided a comprehensive view of 5-axis from the standpoint of a machinist. He found books aimed at engineers or books that discuss tool paths and CAD/CAM systems, but couldn't find a comprehensive start-to-finish book that he thought would help machinists.

Additionally, Mike and I both noticed his post entitled “5-axis…it just ain’t that scary” on the CNC Machinist Blog ( was the most popular. After Mike came to my office and told me about his idea for a book, it was ON!  Mike went on a writing streak like I've never seen. 10 years of 5-axis knowledge dumped into a word document. Once the first draft was finished, the rest of the Hurco team went into action. Drawing on my journalism background, I served as editor; Basilios Dimitrelias, our web developer/graphic designer worked his magic to enhance the learning process by creating graphics to visually complement the 5-axis/5-sided concepts; Paul Gray, Ph.D. (yes, there are CNC Ph.D. engineers at Hurco...they do that kind of math that gives me a headache...math without numbers) reviewed the book for technical accuracy and an overall review of what additional content might be helpful. A host of other people at Hurco and friends of Hurco helped us in our endeavor "to get published" We are so grateful to everyone who helped us!

Why 5-axis

In today’s industry of modern manufacturing, shops are faced with many daily challenges. Among these challenges are efficiency, flexibility, and adaptability. Although traditional manufacturing processes certainly allow shops to address these challenges, there are more advanced technologies - like 5-axis machining – that will help streamline processes and help propel these shops to the next level of both performance and profitability.

About the Book

Mike-Cope-web.jpgAccording to Mike, author of The Power of FIVE, "I’ve always seen myself as a machinist first and wrote this book with the intention of educating machinists and shop owners on the value of 5-axis machining - because I truly believe it is the future of our industry and the most efficient way to produce parts. Making the transition to 5-sided machining on a 5-axis CNC machine solves many of the problems so many shops face: finding qualified machinists (the skills gap); excessive setup costs due to inefficiency; and reacting to pressure from customers, both pricing pressure and delivery pressure. To be blunt, 5-axis saves time and money. Since time is money in our industry, 5-axis makes each part more profitable. It offsets the skills gap issue because you can do more with fewer machines – reducing the need for finding and hiring more skilled employees. The technology makes the process more efficient so you will increase your productivity because you’re not wasting time flipping parts. And you can react to pressure from your customers because you can switch from one job to another quickly and efficiently. Basically, you can do more with less if you select the right 5-axis CNC machine."

To see a preview of the book, go to