4-Axis CNC Machining

RDL Machine offers full-service CNC machining of various materials to meet specific needs for your project. Our CNC mills can hold critical dimensions and extremely tight tolerances to further ensure that exact specifications are met. From prototyping to mass production, our milling services can be tailored to match your requirements, with attention to detail, quality, and accuracy being fundamental components of service.

Differentiating 3-Axis, 4-Axis, and 5-Axis CNC Machining

What is 3-Axis Machining?

3-axis CNC machining is the simplest type of machining, with movement along three axes: X, Y, and Z. 3-axis machining creates practical shapes and is used to manufacture drillings and threaded holes in-line with an axis. However, this machining is limited to its three axes, and cannot manufacture complex design features.

What is 4-Axis Machining?

4-axis CNC machining adds a fourth axis, known as the A-axis, as a rotation around the X-axis. The addition of the fourth axis greatly expands design capacity and allows for the creation of highly complex models.

There are two types of 4-axis CNC machining: simultaneous and positional. Simultaneous machining allows the machine to cut the material at the same time as the rotation of the A-axis. Positional machining must be adjusted and repositioned while the machine is not cutting, which will resume when the rotation is complete.

What is 5-Axis Machining?

As the name suggests, 5-axis CNC machining adds a fifth axis, known as a B-axis or C-axis. Again, there are two types of machining: 3+2 and fully continuous. 3+2 machining is similar to 4-axis positional machining, where the axes’ rotation at the same time as machining is not possible. Fully continuous machining is similar to simultaneous machining, where the machine is able to rotate the two axes while cutting at the same time.

4-Axis CNC Machining Advantages

4-axis CNC machining has more advantages than 3-axis machining. The fourth axis allows the manufacturing of more parts, and more pieces can be worked on at the same time. This signals an increase in production capabilities and is more economical.

Vertical CNC Machining Versus Horizontal CNC Machining

At RDL Machine, we utilize vertical CNC machining for high precision and production needs. With the vertical mill, the spindle is vertically oriented. The cutting tool held within the spindle rotates, and when placed against the material, removes pieces of the material. Vertical orientation allows for highly complex detailing, as both the tools and the workpiece are able to rotate simultaneously.

Horizontal CNC machining centers, however, are typically positional in nature, which limits the ability to achieve complex details, as opposed to the continuous performances of vertical machining.

4-Axis CNC Machining Industries

RDL Machine has been trusted with government and defense contracts for more than a decade. We are capable of creating performance-built components for a variety of industries, including oil and gas, military and defense, automotive, and medical. Popular applications include:

  • Aircraft Engine Propellors
  • Orthopedic Implants
  • Hydraulic Actuators
  • Fuel Injection Components
  • Shafts
  • Solenoids

4-Axis CNC Machining Capabilities

A 4-axis CNC machine is capable of machining a variety of products and parts, including those with complex geometries and curved surfaces. Products that can be machined with a 4-axis CNC machine include:

  • Aerospace components: Parts for aircraft engines, landing gear, and other aircraft elements
  • Automotive components: Parts for cars, trucks, and other vehicles, such as engine blocks, cylinder heads, and transmission elements 
  • Medical components: Medical implants, prosthetics, and surgical instruments 
  • Industrial parts: Various types of industrial parts, such as gears, bearings, shafts, and valves 
  • Prototyping

Our 4-Axis CNC Machinery Options

Contact us for 4-axis vertical CNC machining services and to discuss your needs. Our CNC mills can hold critical dimensions and extremely tight tolerances and can meet high-volume needs.

Our 4-axis vertical CNC machining options include:

  • NXV 1020A
  • NXV 1680A

Why Choose RDL Machine for 4-Axis Machining Services

As an industry-leading machine shop of over 20 years, RDL Machine has the experience needed to provide quality and cost-effective machining for virtually any requirement. Our ISO 90001 Certified processes, CMM measuring technology, and extensive quality assurance procedures ensure we produce accurate, high-quality components that can’t be matched by our competitors. Our CNC turning, Wire EDM machining, custom capabilities, and innovative programming software allow us to design your projects precisely and efficiently.