Level Up! 3D Printing has Become Child’s Play
The age of technology-aided making is in full force. Costs continue to drop, creating new ways for manufacturers to meet the demands of the masses. And, these masses are people just like you and me. People who don’t expect to run an entire warehouse full of 3D printers or CNC machines. 5AxisWorks is a company looking to fill a gap that allows for the industrial-style quality without an industrial-style cut out of your finances. So then, let’s take a look at their offering, the 5AxisMaker. Will it hold up to the claim that it is the “first-ever affordable subtractive and additive 5-axis CNC machine?
The Key Features that Make the 5AxisMaker shine.
The most important thing to note about the 5AxisMaker is that it offers the ability to change our tools. Before this, SnapMaker made history becoming the most-funded 3D Printer Kickstarter ever. They provided a machine that can 3D print with filament, Laser engraving, and CNC carving. That opened the doors for other companies to begin meeting the demand for machines that could multi-task. Ultimately, the 5AxisMaker does just that with a milling head, an extruder head, and a touch probe.
Another key feature is that it is practically designed for maintenance. Each 5AxisMaker is built with easily replaceable modules. This means that maintenance and repair are simple. Also, the electronics are reliable. In other words, the main controller for each machine is thoroughly tested. The power supplies work in any country. The cables are branded, shielded, and commonly used in the robotics field.
Consequently, that ensures for accurate signal transmission.
5AxisMaker didn’t stop there! Each axis uses built-in induction sensors for reliable, safe, repeatable performance. The tool head uses BC sensor homing. It automates calibration and positioning, which results in fast and practical set up. They have also designed a suspension mechanism for the stepper motors. The purpose of the mechanism is to prevent backlash and damage to the whole machine during the collision.
5AxisMaker Build Specifications
|Dimensions 5xm400:||790 x 580 x 800mm /31in x 22in x 31in|
|Working volume 5xm400:||400 x 400 x 400 mm /15.7in x 15.7in x 15.7in|
|Mechanical resolution:||XYZ axis: 0.036mm/ 36 microns /0.0014in; BC-axis: 2 arcmin/ 0.034 degrees|
|Electronic resolution:||XYZ axis: 4.5microns; BC-axis: 0.25 arcmin /0.0041degrees|
|Mechanical repeatability:||XYZ axis: 0.05mm /0.00196in; BC-axis: 1arcmin|
|Max travel speed XYZ:||15000mm/min(X,Y) /590in/min; 3000-6000mm/min(Z) /120-240in/min|
|Max travel speed BC:||20rpm(C) 20rpm(B)|
|Power requirements:||1200W, 240-100V, 50/60hz, 13A (supplied with IEC power cable for different countries)|
|5AxisMaker Weight:||5xm400 – 72kg (crated); 5xm600 – 93kg (crated)|
|Computer requirements:||Windows operating system with Mach3|
|Controller:||MACH3 (to be purchased separately from an official vendor)|
|Software:||Supports any CAD/CAM software (providing there is post-processor available), includes a one-year commercial subscription to Autodesk® Fusion 360™Ultimate|
Comparable Alternatives in the Market
So, you now know the technical side of what 5AxisMaker is all about. But, remember; they are touting this as the “first-ever affordable” 5-axis CNC machine. Now, let’s talk about alternatives. For at-home use, the competition is rather limited. As stated earlier, SnapMaker 2.0 is the closest in offering multiple ways to make. MSRP is $1800 USD and build area is 320mm x 350mm x 330mm. The SnapMaker is limited to only three axes. Then, there’s the 5-axis CNC engraver offered on robotdigg.com. MSRP is $400, but the build area is only 150mm x 150mm x 125mm. Plus, it doesn’t offer exchangeable tool heads. 5AxisWorks has listed the MSRP for their smallest machine, the 5xm400 at £5500 before VAT (just over $6700 before taxes).
I could continue this path, but I think you’re beginning to see my point. While the 5AxisMaker indeed appears to be a first, the focus is more on what it can do and not the “affordable” price. On the other hand, at that value, you get a lot of functionality! However, we live in a world where exposure of rapidly spreading disease depletes every convenience store of commodities such as toilet paper and hand soap, while simultaneously crashing global stock markets. In comparison, at an equal value to a used car, the 5AxisMaker is debatable at best as affordable, when individual machines that offer similar functionality can be purchased at an overall lower, combined cost.
Be sure to read our latest article by Michael Bird; a tutorial on how to properly PID tune your 3D Printer or how about checking out the BigTreeTech SKR V1.4 Turbo Review – Latest and greatest?