Rotary Axis on a multi axis CNC

I am not very familiar with Rotary Axis work on a multi axis CNC. I am curious of one thing. Technically the Rotary Axis will be named the A-Axis. Then parallel with the Workpiece as it spins around this axis, let’s consider this to be the X-axis. (Of course this will be dependent of which direction the rotary is facing but for this example we will say the axis runs left to right along the Workpiece following the typical X-Axis). Then of course we have the Z-axis that runs Perpendicular to the rotational axis.

Typically the Z-axis is directly centered above the A-axis. Is this always the case? Or are there times where the”Y-axis” will come into play? This is where the Z-axis will move off-centered from the rotational axis to carve instead of cutting just strictly perpendicular to the A-Axis.

Thanks in advance.

I have used mine as a standard rotary axis with the z-axis centered, but I have also used mine to do some 4 sided carves and the rotary axis was used to rotate to the four sides for cutting like an indexer.

Thanks Erik. Does this take a special post processor?

Aspire can handle rotary toolpaths, there are also programs that convert a flat toolpath to a rotary one…just requires a bit of math to set it up. For the 4 sided cuts I just make 4 normal toolpaths…cut one…rotate the model 90 degrees…repeat…

Thank you. I was trying to decide if I wanted to set the rotary axis up so that it ran in line with the Home position. Now I realize I need to offset it some so that the axis has travel on both sides.
Thanks for your assistance

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Erik Is your rotational axis motorized or do you move it on your own? Any pics??

That’s awesome, would you have to motorized it, or could you just turn it 90* manually each time?

If you can turn it exactly 90 degrees and lock it into place I guess it would work, but it is so nice to just tell it to go 90 degrees in the g-code :slight_smile:

Let’s say that you want to turn a square blank round, does the A-axis spin similar to a regular lathe or does it index and follow the lenghth of the Workpiece and then rotate?

Here is me rounding a block on mine.

This is old, I now go much faster :slight_smile: this is one of the first ones I did.

Perfect thanks. Shouldn’t a flat bottom bit work best when rounding the stock?

yes, that is your best choice to round stock.


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