Being in the aircraft industry where we deal extensively with large
compound contours and surfaces we use large 5-axis mills for a lot of
machining work. Some examples are master/part models, composite layup
molds, assembly bond fixtures, extrusion and skin stretch form blocks,
hydroform blocks/dies, etc.
We have a large Ingersoll 5-axis gantry style mill and several Cincinnati
Milacron V-20 and V-30 mills. Both of these manufacturers I am sure have
web sites that should be informative on 5-axis milling.
5-axis mills have been around for a while, 4-5-axis lathes are relatively
new. In our production area we have what is called an "Integrex," a
4-1/2/5-axis lathe/mill from Mazak (you might want to look at Mazak's web
site as well). We have had problems developing a good postprocessor for it
because it is so new there has not been a lot of software development for
it. One of the advantages of the 5-axis mills over a 5-axis lathes is the
size of working material - it is much easier to fixture and hold an
extremely long or large work piece on a horizontal table than it is to hold
in a chuck or some other type of rotating fixture (although this could be
held stationary as well but the working area/volume is much smaller, i.e.
less machine travel).
As far as leads on 5-axis "service bureaus" (also known as job shops) there
are quite a few here in Wichita due to the number of aircraft companies in
the area (Cessna, Raytheon/Beech, LearJet, and Boeing). One of the larger
shops in town is Brittain Machine and they have quite a number of very
large 5-axis machines because of all the work they do for Boeing. You
might want to call or write them for more information at:
Brittain Machine Inc.
2520 S Sheridan
Wichita, KS 67217
Dewey Brittain, President
Hope this helps.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:45:17 EEST