5 axis CNC router recommendation - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Default 5 axis CNC router recommendation

Can anyone recommend a 5-axis CNC router that can carve complex 3D wood sculptures? It needs to be making ca. 25''x25'' objects and on the Z-axis about 5'' as a minimum. It does not need to be fast nor does it need to carve many objects. Precision should be around 0.01mm. The attached pic is the final sculpture (a piano leg) that would need to be assembled from horizontally sliced sections of the total leg (ca. 5'' in height).
Since it's for less than 10 legs the router should not be above 10K.

Alternatively, if anyone knows of a reasonable CNC firm that can make the product for me, that would be fine, too.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Klavimaniac View Post
Can anyone recommend a 5-axis CNC router that can carve complex 3D wood sculptures? It needs to be making ca. 25''x25'' objects and on the Z-axis about 5'' as a minimum. It does not need to be fast nor does it need to carve many objects. Precision should be around 0.01mm. The attached pic is the final sculpture (a piano leg) that would need to be assembled from horizontally sliced sections of the total leg (ca. 5'' in height).
Since it's for less than 10 legs the router should not be above 10K.

Alternatively, if anyone knows of a reasonable CNC firm that can make the product for me, that would be fine, too.

Thank you!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 09:57 AM
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5 axis for under 10k will be very tough. Given the low volume and your plan to mill in slices, it is likely it can be done one a 3-axis with doing the individual slices on two faces, or as an indexed rotary. Would need to see the geometry to make a recommendation.

.01mm is quite tight for wood, it will easily move that much with a slight change in humidity. You generally will not get a part off a Router that needs no sanding, so those kinds of tolerances are just not realistic.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 10:16 AM
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Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile so it shows in the side panel and clears the N/a and so we'll know what to call you. Add your location, as well, as that often helps us to help you.

Like Richard said, that's going to be hard to do for under $10k.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 09:39 PM
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About the cheapest 5 axis you'll find is this shopbot, at $45,000.
https://support.shopbottools.com/products/5axis

I doubt it would be anywhere near .01mm accuracy. You're looking for a $300,000 machine.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:33 AM
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Where I work we've repeatedly debated the need for a 5-axis CNC. We invariably conclude that the "thing" we wanted to make that required the 5-axis could actually be done on a $5k machine with a compound angle clamping jig mounted in it: 4D Furniture Thoughts: Advanced Compound Angle CNC Clamping Fixture.

Sometimes by just re-imagining how to split the "thing" into halves or slices so all parts could be machined then assembled to make the whole.

4D
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 10:49 PM
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If you are talking about making piano legs I don't see the reason for the requirment for the 0.01mm tolerance or need for a 5th axis. It might be best done on a rotary axis after the blank is glued up, as you say it doesn't have to be fast. Done on a rotary axis like this all kinds of design possibilities are possible, your imagination is the only thing to hold you back.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:18 PM
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Sounds more like you need a CNC lathe which would have 3 Axis with a router used as the cutting tool rather than the gouges.

You should be looking for a CNC lathe which has 3 Axis. You don't need a 5 Axis machine to make piano legs.

If you want to go old school; Wood Smith Magazine has plans for a router lathe you can build. Granted, the machine is not CNC, but then, you are turning legs and other such parts.

On the other hand, if your just looking for an excuse to purchase a 5 Axis CNC machine, then just purchase one, but it will break you budget. The best course of action to a 5 axis machine is to first make money using a 3 axis machine.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:05 AM
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You need to discuss this with someone with experience in cutting 3-axis and 5-axis parts. I believe you will find that you need a 3-axis machine with the right tooling.
A 5-axis machine is needed to cut swarfs such as moldline in aircraft. With 40 years of programming aerospace parts in numerous materials and many, many machine types, I can tell you that a 3-axis is more likely to produce a better part with fewer hassles.

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