- Reduced machining time: By using a flat bottom endmill and maintaining perpendicularity to the complex surface you can step-over the full diameter of the cutter thereby dramatically reducing the required number of passes across a surface. The same principle applies to sidemilling of angled surfaces.
- Better surface finish: Using a flat bottom endmill to maintain perpendicularity to the complex surface can eliminate ribbing caused by ball-nose endmills.
- Eliminate multiple setups required to re-position the work-piece at complex angles.
- Eliminate costly tooling and fixtures required to hold the work-piece in place.
- Eliminate manual millwork and handwork required to cleanup kellered surfaces.
- Machine complex parts that are not otherwise possible, including holes required to be normal to a complex surface.
- Fewer competitors: Higher profit margins.
Tri-Tech Europe Ltd. sells, installs and supports the unique Tri-Tech milling head solution that quickly attaches to virtually any 3-axis machining center utilizing the existing spindle drive. This allows the spindle to be positioned at any angle within a hemispherical range, instantly converting the machine to a fully programmable 5-axis machining center. Following are several alternatives to achieve 5-axis machining capability.
While the Tri-Tech 5-axis Programmable Head Attachment is unique within the CNC machine tool market, there are other alternatives for achieving 5-axis capability. These alternatives include dedicated 5-axis machines that are limited in their range of motion with prices starting at +£200,000; or trunnion / rotary tables, which severely limit travel and the size of parts that can be accommodated. Priced extremely competitively fully installed the Model 5414 Head provides a distinctive enhancement for any CNC machine shop.
Machine tool independent the Tri-Tech Head allows users to install the unit on a variety of vertical, horizontal and bridge machining centers within the machine shop thus expanding a company’s 5-Axis capability throughout your facility. Machine shops can take advantage of advanced technology while protecting their investment in existing machine tools. The product’s compact design, solid steel construction and portability still offer an installation time of less than 20 minutes
The Tri-Tech head is currently available throughout Europe through Tritech Europe Ltd. and is sold, installed and supported through our UK facility in Chorley.
Tri-Tech Europe provides a full Turnkey solution from initial assessment through to completed installation.
Support and Training
Tri-Tech Europe offers a full one-year warranty including parts and labor on all products sold. A complete training and installation manual is provided and onsite training is provided.
Tri-Tech Europe and has an extensive Machine Tool OEM network and can provide the Tri-Tech 5-axis head with their current product lines, giving them a competitive edge by supplying a complete 5-axis turnkey solution to their prospective and existing customers.
Tri-Tech Europe Ltd. will quote the delivery of a turn-key assembly including motors and machine specific adapters for the widest range of CNC machines, which includes Vertical, Horizontal and Bridge type machines. Pricing available by request.
5-Axis Machining Alternatives
There are currently three alternatives to achieving full 5-axis machining capabilities:
- Dedicated 5-axis Machining Center
- Tilting – Rotary Table
- Spindle Head Attachment
Tri-Tech Model 5414 spindle head attachment is fully programmable and can be used to convert nearly any 3-axis CNC machine to a true, simultaneous 5-axis machining center. The M5414 has a wide range of motion including tilt capability of +/- 90° and continuous 360° rotary motion. Because the M5414 is a spindle attachment, it can access all points of the machining center’s work envelope. The M5414 is portable and can be mounted, in less than 20 minutes, with no modification to the host machine. At 68 Kg, the M5414 is a heavy duty attachment yet compact enough to attach to many smaller to mid-size machines.
While the low-mid. priced 5-axis machining centers are fairly rigid, they cannot match the rigidity of their 3-axis counterparts for significant metal removal. The M5414 allows the user to perform all significant metal removal using the heavy duty 3-axis machining center then mount the M5414 attachment to complete 5-axis profiling, holes, pockets, etc. using up to 20 cutting tools.
Dedicated 5-Axis Machining Center
Cincinnati Machine, SNK, Makino, Haas Automation, Deckle-Maho, Nicholas-Correa, Okuma, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Zimmerman.
The majority of these machining centers are large, powerful, accurate and expensive with prices averaging well above £350,000. The least expensive 5-axis machining centers on the market today have a starting price of about £200,000. The chief draw-back of the dedicated 5-axis machines is their range of motion which is generally limited to (+/- 30°). Work pieces that require a steeper angle of cut must be manually repositioned and restarted. Also, these machines are significantly less rigid than a 3-axis machine of the same size and class.
A relative newcomer to this market are the trunnion style 5-axis machining center which allows the machine bed to tilt and rotate thereby providing access to all 5 sides of a part exactly as a performed by tilting-rotary tables (see below). Unfortunately, this design severely limits both the size and weight of the parts that may be machined, reducing the accessible machine envelope by up to 60%.
Tilting Rotary Table
Several manufacturers now produce a tilting-rotary table that can be mounted to the bed of a (3-axis) CNC machine. Simple rotary tables have been available for many years and are used extensively by small and large machine shops around the world to index parts for various machining operations. A tilting rotary table can rotate and tilt a part at various angles to provide machine access to five sides of the part, simulating true five axis machining.
The relatively small work surface of a tilting-rotary table places significant limits on the type of the work piece that can be mounted to it including limits of length, width, height and weight. Additionally, tilting-rotary tables are themselves very large and use much of the host machine’s working envelope. Even the largest tilt-rotary tables can reduce the working envelope of the host machine by 75% or more. Tilt-rotary tables are not suitable to hold parts during heavy cutting operations.
Spindle Head Attachment
The primary advantage of a spindle head attachment is that it can access all points of the machining center’s work envelope. The head places no limit on the size of the work piece that can be machined. One U.S. company and at least two European companies manufacture and sell a programmable spindle head for attachment to large 3-axis milling machines. When properly installed, these heads are fairly dependable, accurate and expensive. Because of their size and weight they cannot be mounted onto any of the small to mid-sized machining centers and are reserved for only the largest gantry type milling machines. Installation is permanent and requires custom fabrication and fitting. The price range for these head attachments is £100,000 to £150,000 plus the cost of custom fabrication and installation.