3 axis vs. 4 axis vs. 5 axis CNC Router

Posted on

So what is the difference between a 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis router?

3-axis CNC router is capable of cutting along three axis simultaneously. The router cuts along the y-axis, x-axis, and z-axis. The x-axis moves the router bit from left to right, while the y-axis moves the bit from front to back. The z-axis moves the bit up and down. A 3-axis cnc router generally cuts flat, 2 dimensional parts but is also capable of cutting 2.5D or what typically refer to as 3D. Basically carve anything 3D on the top but the bottom of your workpiece will remain flat.

Here at CanCam, we are proud to offer a variety of 3-axis CNC routers.

Many 3-axis cnc routers come with an option that allows you to add a 4th axis (as the pictures below demonstrate). The spindle can access the part from various angles along the 4th axis. Subsequently, the spindle has more angular flexibility with only one setup which would otherwise require several setups on a conventional 3-axis router. As a result, the setup time is reduced and the part accuracy is enhanced. CanCam has a 4 By 4′ CNC Router with 4th axis option that’s  popular among our customers . The 4th axis on this model can be built into the frame or placed and removed from the top of the table.

5-axis CNC router has the ability to cut five sides or 360 degrees of the work piece. This expands the operator’s abilities and tractability. Where the 3-axis router cuts 2-dimensional parts, the 5-axis router is generally used to cut 3-dimensional parts. Further, a 5-axis cnc router has the option of a taller gantry.  As a result, the 5-axis cnc router can cut larger parts.