Know Your CNC Aluminum Machining for Maximum Profitability

When manufacturers know the engineering behind CNC machines in-depth they can leverage maximum benefits and achieve top-notch quality for aluminum machined parts.

The rise of CNC machines has redefined the rich geometrical accuracy and precision desired for machining. CNC machining services have taken the center stage across the manufacturing sector. Research by Globe News Wire suggests that CNC metal cutting machine market size is expected to grow at the CAGR of 6.5% and reach $105.3 billion by 2025. Amid this, aluminum tops the choice given its excellent physical properties. This makes the manufacturers’ attention converge at CNC aluminum machining naturally.

Together, CNC machined aluminum parts find ever-growing applications in several industry verticals including auto-ancillaries, marine, structural, aerospace, and many more. An aluminum machined part distributor or supplier may find multiple CNC aluminum machining service providers in the market for their monitory gains. But to reap the maximum benefits from and attain the highest quality of aluminum machined part one must know the core engineering behind the CNC machine and its type.

Types of CNC Aluminum Machines

Ideally, like all CNC machines, for aluminum part machining, there are several variants based on the number of axes. It includes everything from 2 axis lathe machine for rather simpler operations to 5-axis CNC machine for producing complex parts and everything in between including milling, turning, grinding, and more.

CNC milling aluminum

CNC milling machine in action cutting an automotive part

At AutoProtoWay.com (WayKen Rapid), we own both 3 axes and 5 axes CNC aluminum machine to help our customers obtain the highest quality rapid manufacturing and stay profitable.

The Engineering behind 5 Axis CNC Aluminum Machine

A machine with 5 axis has an edge over other CNC machines with fewer axis, as clearly the tool can maneuver in multiple directions without any significant re-adjustments. Our 5 axis machine can be manipulated in five different directions automatically at a time.

The 5 axis in the machines includes primary X, Y, and Z-axis and additional – 180-degree rotation [A, B, C] around the two of the three primary axis. This type of machine caters primarily to the automobile and aerospace industries – places where aluminum finds a good array of applications.

axis of a 5 axis CNC machine

Understanding the direction of the axis of a 5 axis CNC machine

Fundamentally, at AutoProtoWay.com (WayKen Rapid), we favor producing extremely complex parts on our 5 axis CNC aluminum machine that are solid and cannot be produced by casting or any other method. As the name suggests, this machine allows us to operate the workpiece from five different directions, although it needs higher numeric programming time and complex rotational tool path. At the same time, it also allows us to give a higher surface finish, mirror-like qualities, very low roughness, and top-quality precision.

Different Machining Processes Offered by a 5 Axis CNC Aluminum Machine

As stated before, a 5-axis CNC machine is capable of performing more operations than a CNC machine with fewer numbers of axis. Some of the common machining operations performed on a typical CNC machine involve:

  • Milling
  • Precision machining
  • Low-volume machining
  • Turning
  • Cutting
  • Drilling
  • Custom machining
  • Prototyping

Different Grades of Aluminum Machined

As stated in the opening lines, Aluminum has excellent physical properties that make it the best choice in several industries. However, the grade of aluminum you choose depends a lot on the intended application of the final part, its operating conditions, and machine availability.

Here is some quick fact check of all popular grades of Aluminum that a 5 axis CNC aluminum machine can handle:

Al Grade Properties Industrial application
Alloy 1100 Excellent corrosion resistant General fabrication
Alloy 2024 Poor corrosion-resistant but can be heat treated Aerospace applications
Alloy 3003 Medium strength, doesn’t respond to heat treatment Food & Chemical equipment
Alloy 5052 Good machinability, Excellent corrosion resistant Marine applications
Alloy 6061 Good weldability, Medium strength Structural applications
Alloy 6063 Good weldability, responds to heat treatment Architectural applications in construction
Alloy 7075 Poor weldability, very high strength Aerospace applications

Benefits of 5 Axis CNC Aluminum Machine

Ideally, the three linear and two chosen rotational motions of the machine tool offer their distinctive advantages. Thus, a 5 axis CNC machine has excellent benefits. Some of them include better surface finish, no additional set up, saying yes to complex parts manufacturing, etc.

Let’s look at each of them.

Advantages of Aluminum CNC Machining on a 5 axis Machine

  • Create complex shapes. The additional rotational movement in comparison with the traditional machine having two or three-axis which creates more accurate machining angles, cuts, angles, and more intricate details with ease and with almost no additional setups.
  • Decreased change in machine setup. Since with two centering heads and machining from five different surfaces, the ability of such machines reduces the need to re-center the tool repetitively. This will not only save time but will also result in saving money by hefty amounts.
  • Better finish and manufacturing efficiency. When your machine set up has a frequently changing setup, it disturbs the alignment of the workpiece with the tool. But with 5 axes, this reputedly changing setup almost nil which results in finer cuts, higher accuracy, and precision.
  • Higher productivity. Given the aforementioned benefits, a 5 axis machine improves your part manufacturing ability in lesser time, which means your rate of production naturally increases.
  • Monetary gains: With almost no repetitive machine set up, the power is saved. Secondly, there is no additional set up for complex shape creation which exempts you from buying extra accessories and tools and increases precision which leads to saving of scrap.

Thus, a 5 axis CNC aluminum machine offers huge monetary gains.

Our Advantage for CNC Aluminum Machining Services

Bringing this all together, CNC machines are on a rise and aluminum remains the top choice for several industry verticals. At AutoProtoWay.com, we offer top-quality finish for CNC machined aluminum parts using 3 axes and 5 axis CNC machines as per our clients’ needs. Along with aluminum, we also offer CNC machining services for other materials such as magnesium, zinc, titanium, steel, stainless steel, and many more.

Our CNC aluminum milling machines’ tolerance values range from +/-0.005″ (+/-0.125mm) to +/-0.001″ (0.025mm) to help you achieve the desired application of the part without any worries of errors or mistakes. If you are looking to produce aluminum parts, AutoProtoWay.com is your trusted partner. Our project managers and talented pool of highly experienced engineers will collaborate with you to help you achieve your business and manufacturing goals.

Drop us an email or request a no-obligation quote for more information.

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