In case you missed How Its Made, Season 24, episode 9, featured a show on 5TH Axis Metalworking Vises!
Check it out over lunch!
We are very excited to announce that David Edge has joined the Next Generation Tooling team. David has a wealth of experience from his 45+ years in the metalcutting industry. He not only knows the technical aspects of cutting tool applications but also the procedural functions that are important to manufacturers, Industrial distributors and machinery dealers.
David began his career in 1972 as a manufacturing engineer in turning applications, with Pneumatic Auto Turret lathes, Tracer lathes and manual Turret lathes. He cut his teeth in sales for 11 years as a cutting tool specialist for Valenite in the Bay area.
He moved north to work for RTW and Iscar where he managed Washington, Oregon and Western Canada for the many aerospace applciations in that area. In 2012 he moved back to the Bay area to manage Northern California for Tungaloy.
David also brings first hand experience as a distributor from his time at J&L Industrial Supply and Aronson-Campbell Industrial Supply as a carbide application engineer. He has a deep understanding of what the expectations are of a industrial distributor from a manufacturer.
David also has an inside knowledge of the expectations of a machine tool dealer from his time back in the late 1980's working at Selway Machine Tools.
We where very excited to meet and greet many of our customers at the 2017 Western Tool & Supply Open House.
It was held at their San Jose, CA. on September 21- 22, 2017.
We featured quite a few featured products from our principals during the two day event. It was great discussing lots of technical applications that machinists brought to us!
The RockLock quick change system is here. Featuring Industry standard 96 mm pull stud spacing.
Standardize them all with incredible speed and repeatability.
Note: This article originally appeared as a Case Study From: 5/1/2016 Modern Machine Shop, Edited by Emily Probst , Associate Editor
VIDEO NOTE: Scroll to the bottom of the page for a behind-the-scenes look at 5th Axis, and hear Chris Taylor talk about how Hypermill software has helped his company.
From day one, 5th Axis Inc.’s business strategy has been to take advantage of the most advanced software, equipment and technologies available so it could competitively enter demanding niche markets like aerospace, medical and other challenging high-tech industries.
However, during the company’s entry into five-axis machining, co-founders Steve Grangetto and Chris Taylor realized their CAM software had major shortcomings—machining collisions were common, and they weren’t able to realize the full potential of their machine tools. Using Hypermill from Open Mind Technologies AG of Wessling, Germany, the company achieves faster run times, better surface finishes and overall better quality
Business grew dramatically during the company’s first three years. To meet the growing demand for complex, five-axis machining, 5th Axis purchased a new high-performance five-axis machine to accompany its original Haas machine. However, during programming, the company realized the shortcomings of its existing, mainstream CAM software. Along with unexpected machining collisions, the company couldn’t fully utilize the speed, capabilities and potential of its new high-end machine. That’s when Mr. Grangetto and Mr. Taylor decided to give Hypermill a try.
For instance, five-axis machining greatly improves part precision by eliminating alignment errors that are introduced in standard machining when a part is removed and refixtured in another orientation. It is also extremely time-efficient, because most or all of the work is performed in a single setup with no delays while waiting for an operator to unload, reload and reposition the part.
Stepping through the tool path to watch it remove material and verify that it clears the machine without any collisions is a valuable time-saver. “I do not have to walk out to the shop floor and manually look inside a machine with coolant flowing to check clearances,” he says.
By controlling the amount of volume or the angle of the cutter’s engagement, the cutter can loop into a corner. The Maxx Machining roughing module extends tool life, and machining time is reduced by 30 to 75 percent by maintaining a constant chip load, Mr. Levine says. 5th Axis can use Hypermill Maxx Machining on materials ranging from aluminum to hard materials like Inconel because its high-speed machines are fast enough to keep up with the rapid toolpath motion that is generated. “The bottom line is that using Hypermill Maxx Machining results in super-efficient and fast tool paths,” Mr. Norton says.
Open Mind uses internal experts to develop postprocessors, which it considers to be a core technology of the company. The customized postprocessors have configurable parameters that enable users to control their particular environments. This means that the core mathematics and the basic structure of the post are created and locked down by Open Mind, but 5th Axis can change certain parameters, which influence the locked portion.
According to Mr. Levine, “Some companies give the customer a tool kit and the ability to build their own post, but those guys are not there to write postprocessors; they are there to cut metal. Also, writing the entire postprocessor is too much for the original equipment manufacturer that has to ensure compatibility with various CAM software products. An alternative approach is to give the customer no control, but then they would have to call back to the service supplier to make custom changes. Our combination of locked and open is not entirely common, and we believe it gives customers the best of both worlds.”
The high-quality tool paths, advanced CAM software capabilities, postprocessor support and skilled technical support give 5th Axis the confidence to take on ever more challenging jobs that require programming complex parts, Mr. Taylor says. “With Open Mind’s help, we never burn money getting stuck on a job. Their contribution has been a really big part of the growth of our business.”
We are very excited to announce a new partnership with 5th Axis Workholding located in San Diego, CA. 5th Axis has created a very nice dovetail workholding system for use in 5 axis milling and can also be used in turning. Please give them a big welcome to out family of principals!
5th Axis Workholding was created out of shear necessity. When Co-CEO’s Steve Grangetto and Chris Taylor started 5th Axis Inc. in 2005, they immediately recognized the need for quality workholding that addressed many of the common issues machinists encounter when moving into the 4th and 5th axis machining.
“Fixturing may be the ultimate in problem-solving,” he continues. “If you don’t start with a good, solid fixture – in either 3- or 5-axis work – you’re not going to end up with a good part. More axes just add more layers of complexity.” “A lot of people still aren’t used to thinking in 5 axes when it comes to fixturing,” observes Chris. “They often design them to get a part on and off quickly, without stopping to think about clearance issues.” In 5-axis work, A- and B-axis movement can seriously impact Z-axis clearance. Careless designs invite costly crashes. Longer tools lessen some clearance issues, but introduce problems of their own.
“Fixturing may be the ultimate in problem-solving. If you don’t start with a good, solid fixture – in either 3- or 5-axis work – you’re not going to end up with a good part. More axes just add more layers of complexity.” “When the fixture is right at the beginning,” Steve continues, “we can let the machine take care of most other problems. But, there are one or two areas that require further attention . . .”
Our blog section is written by several different people. Sometimes, it from our team here at Next Generation Tooling at other times it's by one of the wonderful manufacturer's we represent in California and Nevada