When it comes to CNC machining, things can become a little bit confusing. Most CNC machines operate on 3 axes and those are referred to as X, Y, and Z. Some of the CNC machines implement a 5-axis form of movement where there are 2 more axes that are used. Each axis represents a different motion that can be done. For example: side-to-side motion, up-and-down motion, etc. This is why CNC machines are capable of performing almost any type of motion because of the combination of the axes that are used.
As mentioned previously, different axes offer different motions. With the Z axis, depth comes into play. How deep will the machine cut, especially when formulating designs? Something has to allow the machine to make the turns, the angles, and so forth. The robotic arm allows the machine to do this.
The different axes will allow the machine to do different things. The more axes that the machine operates on, the more creative you can be. The more diverse the parts or projects can become. With the five axis machines, pretty much anything that anyone can dream up, can be created. You can even sculpt a model of a human head.
Computer numerical controlled technology combined with robotic technology is a wonderful thing. Without either the machining industry would not be where it is today. CNC machining is a large part of the automotive industry, the aerospace industry, and others. These machines offer engineers and machinists the ability to create anything needed to make the world operate efficiently.
Having different axes to work with, machinists can create parts with precision and high tolerances. Precise angles and precise cuts can be created within 1 to 100 microns, in most cases. It can’t get much better than that. No longer do machinists have to turn cranks and handles and manually operate these machines. The software programs control pretty much everything that has to do with the machine.
The computer software programs have to be written by the programmers to incorporate the different axes. This means that the programmer has to tell each axis what to do in the program. On a five-axis CNC machine, one does not have to use all of the axes. The programmer can write the program to use the three basic axes and that’s all. The programmer specifically writes the program to tell the X axis its job, the Y axis its job, the Z axis its job, and so on. If one axis is accidently left out, that axis will not work.
The CNC Z axis is very important to the CNC machines. Without this axis, depth cannot be created. Many projects, from woodworking to auto part making, require the use of the Z axis. If you have any questions about the CNC Z axis or would like to learn more, contact any machinist or your local CNC machine dealer. They will be able to help you learn the importance of the Z axis.