CNC router history

Increasingly sophisticated CNC machines, software and human skill has meant that machining products, parts and components has changed considerably in a short period of time.

These changes have meant the ability to manufacture increasingly complex products, which can be achieved in a timely and cost-effective way. One of the developments that has enabled this change is the development of the 5-axis CNC machine.

5-axis machining moves in five different directions corresponding to the 3 linear X, Y and Z axes plus two axes, A and B, around which the tool rotates. With such a configuration, the part can be approached from all directions and can be worked from five different sides in a single operation.

What is the difference between a 3-axis and 5-axis CNC router machine?

A 3-axis CNC router is the most popular CNC machine sold. Why? Because many products produced in the UK can be made on them, they have a quick set up time and importantly their price. They are ideal for creating 2-dimensional products with shallow incisions.

The 5-axis CNC router is more expensive, so it is important to understand the differences between the CNC machines and why you might choose one CNC machine over another.

3-axis machining 5-axis machining
Shallower cuts Deeper cuts
Shorter parts Taller parts
Less complex parts More complex or greater precision
Shorter preparation time Longer preparation time
More material handling Less material handling
Faster completion times Longer completion / turnaround


So why would you consider buying a 5-axis CNC router?

A 5-axis CNC router gives you greater flexibility in creating designs and because there are 5 axes you can create 3-dimensional objects with ease. Because a 5-axis machine is capable of cutting 5 edges of the material simultaneously it is ideal for machining more complex parts. Although it may take longer to set up a job initially there is greater precision and less material handling.

Can you produce the same products on a 3 and 5-axis router?

Possibly is the answer.

If you were creating a 3-dimensional object with a 3-axis router you would need to manually turn the material, because of the two additional axes with a 5-axis router it happens automatically. When creating complicated objects this reduces the possibility of human error and can offer greater efficiencies. This also offers more flexibility in the products you can create and therefore could produce new revenue streams.

Improvements in CNC router machinery

Improved machinery, every more sophisticated software and CAD technology has increased the efficiency of even the most complex 5-axis projects, making such projects more achievable, easier to produce and affordable. Faster machining speeds and reduced downtime in switching between tooling has helped increase yields, turnaround and project efficiency.

We have a range of 3-axis and 5-axis CNC Router Machines available and an expert team on hand to answer any questions you might have about choosing the right CNC machine for you. Click here to contact us or to arrange a call back.