Why is 4-axis machining so popular?

Four-axis machining is special relative to three- and five-axis machining. Four-axis can machine high-precision parts like five-axis machining, but it costs close to three-axis. In addition, the four-axis also has many advantages such as high production efficiency, high precision, and high surface finish.

What is four-axis machining?

1.Definition of 4 axes

A four-axis machine tool has at least 4 coordinates, which are three linear coordinates X, Y, Z and a rotary coordinate A or B. The A axis rotates around the X axis. The B axis rotates around the Y axis.

2.Features of four-axis machining

A.Four-axis machiningcan complete the processing work that three-axis cannot do or requires long-term clamping.

B.Four-axis machining can improve accuracy, quality and efficiency when machining free space surfaces.

C.Determine the 4-axis coordinates.


Determination of Z-axis: Z-axis refers to the direction of the machine tool spindle or the vertical direction of the worktable where the workpiece is clamped.

Determination of X-axis: X-axis refers to the horizontal plane parallel to the mounting surface of the workpiece, or the direction perpendicular to the rotation axis of the workpiece on the horizontal plane. The positive direction is the direction away from the spindle axis.


So there are two types of 4 axes, XYZ+A, XYZ+B.

XYZ+A This 4-axis is suitable for machining rotating workpieces and turning and milling.



XYZ+B This 4-axis is suitable for machining small products because of its small table and poor spindle rigidity.



4-axis enables machining of all five surfaces except the bottom surface. But we need to analyze before processing.

Available Materials: Metal and Plastic.


What are the advantages of four-axis machining?

  1. Fewer processing procedures and clamping procedures, and less processing time.
  2. Four-axis machining can process complex surfaces that are difficult to process in basic machining, and can also process unobservable places.
  3. Tool wear is improved.
  4. The 4-axis machining process shortens the clamping time.
  5. No clamps required.
  6. The surface finish is improved.
  7. Concentration of production. Multiple machining can be performed on a 4-axis machine.
  8. The processing production efficiency is greatly improved.

What are the limitations of four-axis machining?

4-axis machining is limited by its Geneva mechanism, as it in principle only allows the 4th axis, but does not support continuous machining. In addition, the wear of the worm gear mechanism is very high during high-intensity use.

Application of four-axis machining

Four-axis machining is widely used in aerospace, shipbuilding, medicine, automobile, mold and many other machinery industries.

Typical parts of the four-axis include cams, turbines, worms, propellers, shoe molds, mannequins, auto parts and many other precision parts.

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