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FANUC helps take the complexity out of 5-axis machining

With up to 52 years MTBF, FANUC CNC Systems are not only the most reliable in the industry, but are also powerful 5-axis controls with advanced functions for optimal 5-axis tool paths. FANUC works closely with all CAD/CAM manufacturers to make sure you can get most out of your new 5-axis machine. FANUC’s packages, like the Machining Standard Package III (R372) for the 30iB series CNCs, take the guesswork out of selecting the right functionality for a modern 5-axis machine. If you aren’t sure if you’re taking advantage of FANUC’s advanced capabilities, contact your FANUC representative and CAD/CAM/Post suppliers to verify.

Optimal 5-axis tool paths

For 5-axis simultaneous contouring, a quality CAD/CAM system is critical. The CAM system determines the required tool path and approximates it with a sequence of points. The post translates those points to a specific machine and CNC application. FANUC has tools and example programs to help set up posts for optimal functionality.

Simplified 5-axis programming

FANUC’s advanced functions like Workpiece Setting Error Compensation (G54.4) and Tool Center Point (G43.4/G43.5) allow you to eliminate complex math from post processors and make part programs that are machine independent. By “programming parts, not machines,” the same part can be run on multiple machines even those with mechanical difference.

Advanced algorithms

FANUC’s AI Contour Control (G5.1 Q1) and Smooth Tolerance Control (G5.1 Q3) enable advanced real-time spline look ahead algorithms that interpret the sequence of CAM approximated points as a smooth spline. This results in producing a more accurate part with better surface finish in a shorter cycle time.

Process specific profiles

FANUC’s Easy Setting Function (G8.1 Px) allows the programmer to define process specific dynamic profiles for the tool path so the machine can use an optimal performance profile for roughing, general, or finish processes. This can result in reduced cycle times and better cutting performance.

Probing for accuracy

Probing is critical for 5-axis contouring in order to automatically calibrate the kinematic for accuracy as well as precisely locate the part and set the part coordinate system. FANUC has many probing routines for automatic kinematic calibration and part location available in Manual Guide i and iHMI.

Want to learn more?

A great way to start is viewing our recent webinar on Optimal 5-axis machining. FANUC has industry experts ready to help you implement the latest FANUC technologies and get the most out of your equipment for the entire life of your machine.

5-Axis Tutorial Videos

Need help with 5-axis machining? Watch our special "Advanced Machining Tips & Tricks" with our experts, Jody Michaels, Director of Factory Automation Aftermarket and Business Development, and Rick Schultz, Aerospace Program Manager!

5-Axis Tutorials


Do you really need 5 axis capabilities?

Many job shops often need help justifying the move to 5-axis. A single 5-axis machine with the latest FANUC CNC technology can typically do the same work with significantly shorter manufacturing times than multiple 3 axis machines. The freedom of motion allows entire parts to be cut without manually re-fixturing the part resulting in significant reduction in overall part manufacturing time. The freedom of motion also allows greater part complexity, making it possible to bid on higher profit work. Due to shorter tools and better tool orientations for the required cut, higher feed rates are often possible further reducing cycle times and part quality. Overall accuracy is improved as well due to the advanced algorithms and the reduced likelihood of manual error. FANUC has the advanced CNC functionality, expertise, and tools to help you start taking advantage of this more efficient machining process.

Redefining 5-axis machining

CNC manufacturers and part programmers typically refer to ‘5-axis machining’ only as a toolpath that requires all 5 axes to interpolate together to create a contour. The functions critical for successful ‘5-axis machining’ are just as critical for any CAD/CAM generated toolpath on any machine with at least 1 rotary or orientation axis. For optimal machining FANUC recommends using this same suite of CNC functionality and related programming techniques for any machine with at least 1 rotary (i.e. 3+2, 4, 3+1, and “full 5” axis processes). To help with specifying or configuring a new machine, FANUC has created the Machining Standard Package III (R372) for the 30iB series CNCs for these machines.

Essential 5-axis functions

The Machining Standard Package III (R372) for the 30iB series includes all the critical FANUC functions needed to optimize 5-axis machining performance – offered in a single discounted collection. Make sure any planned 5-axis machine includes this package.

Workforce development

Do your people have the right skills to run advanced machinery? FANUC’s CNC Machining Simulation for Workforce Development now includes 5-axis training to develop the workforce you need.

Have a support team

To minimize your headaches and downtime, FANUC offers lifetime support on all our products and services. So we are always there to get you quickly back up and running!