What is 5 Axis Machining?

5 Axis machining refers to a machining process that utilizes a computer numerical control (CNC) system to control the movement of a cutting tool along five different directions.
Unlike traditional 3 Axis machining, which allows movement in three linear axes (X, Y, and Z), it adds two rotational axes(A and B/C) to achieve greater flexibility and precision.

What Does “5” in the 5 Axis Stand For?

The “5” in 5 Axis represents the five different axes of movement that a 5 Axis CNC machine can achieve. These are:

X-axis: Horizontal movement from left to right

Y-axis:Horizontal movement from front to back

Z-axis: Vertical movement up and down

A-axis:Rotation around the X-axis

B/C-axis:Rotation around the Y or Z-axis

5 Schematic diagram of Axis Machining

Why Use CNC for 5 Axis Machining?

The computer-controlled precision and automation provided by CNC systems enable complex and accurate machining operations. CNC machines can execute intricate tool paths with high repeatability, ensuring consistent and precise results. Additionally, CNC programming allows for efficient production and the ability to replicate complex parts with ease.

How Does a 5 Axis CNC Machine Work?

  • 1.Making a CAD of the part.
  • 2. Translating the CAD into CAMthat helps generate CNC alphanumeric language or G-Code.
  • 3. Uploading the G-code into the CNC machine.
  • 4. Mounting the workpiece on a rotary table or fixture that can rotate along the A and B/C axes.
  • 5. Mounting the cutting tool on the machine’s spindle that can move along the X, Y, and Z axes while simultaneously rotating around the A and B/C axes.

This multi-axis movement enables the cutting tool to approach the workpiece from various angles, allowing for complex machining operations and the creation of intricate geometries.

What are the Benefits of 5 Axis Machining?

The ability of this type of machining offers several advantages to many industries. Here are the major benefits:

1.Machine Complex Shapes:

The additional axes make machining high complex geometries easily, even machining difficult angles and arcs.

2.Increased Precision:

5-Axis CNC machining enables precise and accurate machining of complex parts, reducing the need for multiple setups and improving overall dimensional accuracy.


The ability to access multiple sides and angles of the workpiece allows for the machining of intricate features, complex curves, and contoured surfaces in a single setup.

4.Reduced Setup Time:

Can perform multiple operations in a single setup, eliminating the need for additional fixtures and reducing setup time.

5.Improved Surface Finish:

With the ability to position the cutting tool at optimal angles, 5 Axis CNC machining can achieve superior surface finishes on complex parts, reducing the need for secondary finishing operations.

6.Enhanced Efficiency:

5 Axis CNC machining can increase productivity by reducing the number of required setups, minimizing material handling, and optimizing tool paths for improved chip evacuation and shorter cycle times.

What are the Disadvantages of 5 Axis Machining?

The 5 axis offers many advantages in making precision parts. However, it also has some drawbacks too.

  • Higher Equipment Costs:
    5-Axis CNC machines are typically more expensive than their 3 Axis, requiring a larger investment.
  • Complex Programming:
    Programming 5-Axis CNC machines can be more complex and time-consuming compared to programming for simpler machines.
  • Skill Requirements:
    Operating and programming 5-Axis CNC machines require specialized skills and expertise, which may require additional training for operators.

What Kind of Parts Can Be Machined Using a 5-Axis Machining Center?

Aerospace components (such as turbine blades, aircraft structural parts)

Automotive parts (engine blocks, transmission components, complex molds)

Medical implants and prosthetics

Tooling (molds, dies, jigs, fixtures)

Sculptures and artistic pieces

Prototypes and custom parts with intricate geometries

 5 Axis CNC Machining Services

5 Axis machining offers a host of advantages, including machine complex shapes, increased precision, versatility, reduced setup time, improved surface finish, and enhanced efficiency. While it has some drawbacks, the ability to process complex parts through a single setup makes it an indispensable technology for industries seeking high-quality and complex parts.

U-Need is equipped with one-stop 5 Axis CNC Machining Services, allowing us to deliver precise and intricate parts for a wide range of applications. Contact us (E-mail: info@uneedpm.com) discuss your project requirements.