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Expert get-together – 5-axis milling in TAC

5-axis simultaneous or 3+2 axis milling – which machine and strategy is the correct one?

This was the motto of the mav get-together of experts, which was held on May 9, in the TAC in Erlangen. Five technology leaders from the CNC sector organized the workshop to provide practical tips and tricks for machine operators when it comes to selecting the correct strategy and tool when milling. Hosted by Siemens, Delcam, Montronix, Walter and Zoller also participated in organizing the workshop.

Many participants were able to get familiar with state-of-the-art 5-axis milling technology. The process chain was explained using practical demonstrations involving a complex molded part as example. Programming the workpiece, measuring the tool and the correct tool selection were explained in theory and demonstrated in practice. With the subsequent live demonstration on a 5-axis machine equipped with SINUMERIK Operate, participants were able to see the good correlation with what has been theoretically calculated. Spindle loads were clearly visualized using the Montronix monitoring system while milling the workpiece.

Result of the 3+2-axis machining



Lower programming overhead

Constraints of the workpiece geometry, e.g. relief cut cavities

The dynamic performance is not limited as only linear axes are used

A longer tool is possibly required

Higher stiffness of the moved axes for 3+2 machining (this depends on the machine concept). As a consequence, longer tool lifetimes and higher surface quality

More advance/approach positions (3+2 axis) are required, possibly longer machining times and visible machining transitions

Result of 5-axis simultaneous machining



Deep cavities and relief cuts can be machined in one clamping operation

High programming costs

Shorter tools with more compact clamping

Higher risk of collision

Smoother, more uniform surfaces – no transitions

Frequently, longer machining times as a result of the compensating motion of the kinematics

No special tools required

Tolerances of the kinematics can be summed, as more axes are being used


You can look at two videos about machining the sample workpiece.

Measure spindle load