Started by aswracing, November 07, 2016, 11:56:21 AM

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Check it out:

! HAMMER PERFORMANCE 5-Axis CNC Porting Demonstration

This is our third CNC machine now. The other two are 4-axis, which is how we've been porting heads since 2003. Finally got a 5-axis machine which will reduce hand work and increase throughput. Pretty much had to, the volume of heads through the shop during the busy season (Jan-May) has just made it impossible to maintain any kind of a reasonable turnaround when we could only churn out a maximum of about two sets a day, with the required hand work. We'll still be using the 4-axis machines for things like seat work and head decking and so forth. We've automated a lot of procedures using those machines over the years. But the big advantage to 5-axis is the finished port. There's right next to zero work it needs once the machine is done with it.

Here's a screen shot from the cad/cam tool we use:

I'm sure this is old hat to some of you, and sure, we've been doing this in 4-axis for a long time, but the 5-axis tools have received the most attention from the software developers and they add a lot of cool functionality. That's where all the development has occurred.

For those of you less well versed in 5-axis cad/cam, this is a screen shot of us doing a backplot on the port design shown in the video. Notice the porting tool sticking into the port on the lower left. A backplot operation lets you carefully examine and refine tool motion.

The circles that are inside of each port are splines, that can be converted to surfaces - a surface is what the tool follows. By individually editing the splines and generating new resultant surfaces, we can modify our ports and then turn around and cut them with great precision.

We're bringing up all of our various port designs on this system right now, and will be adding the dynamic size enhancements and user interface that we've developed for our 4-axis system. There's a lot of development work to do. But it's up and running and making a contribution, and hopefully this year our backlog won't be quite so bad.


Colorado Springs, CO.


Don D

Nice setup. You got very lucky getting that machine. It is a great value and perfect for what we do. Centroid will not sell a retrofit for 5 axis to add on to bed mills any longer. Of course not, they want to sell their A560 for 250K+. Then you create the splined scan by touch probe and tool path on the control similar to what Rottler offers. Very slow. You have the cadillac of software too, Mastercam is the best. Do you use Port Pro Expert?

When I retire in a few months I will venture down this path but will find a used 5X trunnion machine that there is a post for and use Mastercam and a Romer arm. Another new career all in inself. My day job however is buying CNC machines and designing retrofits and mods so I have a start anyway.