5-Axis machining" with a 3-axis machine
Lowcost solution for parts that contain undercutsThe DeskProto software supports both standard 3-axis XYZ milling machines and machines that contain a 4th axis (A-axis). Still it is also possible to achieve 5-axis machining with DeskProto, as shown by former Danish DeskProto dealer LB-Innovation.
This complex model has been machined using DeskProto toolpaths.
To produce complex models like the great example shown above he uses a 'trick' to add the two extra axes needed. The first extra axis is achieved by mounting the spindle motor either vertically to machine the top of the part (standard mode), or horizontally to machine the side of the part. The second extra axis is a horizontal rotary table that is placed on the machine's working table. The material block on the rotary table can be rotated by hand: in the example 4 rotations of 90 degrees each (round the Z-axis), permitting the horizontal spindle to machine four sides.
In 2013 LB-Innovation decided to stop offering machines and software, now focussing only on cutting tools and materials. So the complete description of this project on their website is no longer available.
Since Version 6.0 DeskProto can also create toolpaths for a "real" five-axis machine.
See for instance the Austin Healey gallery project.