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What You Must Know Before Buy 5 Axis CNC Router: Does It Come With RTCP?

Publish Date: Nov. 07, 2020 Author: Liam Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Nov. 07, 2020

You probably know that in the CNC field, more axis means more capacities. 5 Axis CNC router allows you to cut on any of the five sides of an object based on one setup. But you may not know that there are two types of five-axis cnc routers: the one with RTCP (also known as real 5 axis cnc) and the one without that (known as false five-axis). For your information, all EagleTec 5 axis cnc routers are coming with the RTCP option.

In this post, we'll take you through the whole points one by one. It is what you must know before buying 5 axis cnc router since it is vital to your productivity. Enjoy!

5 axis cnc router with RTCP option

What is RTCP in the CNC Field?

RTCP is short for Rotated Tool Center Point, or Rotation Tool Center Point; It is an option unique to the 5-axis CNC control system. However, this does not mean that all 5-axis systems have this function.

What is the Function of RTCP?

Its function is to ensure that the tooltip's actual contact point and the workpiece surface remains unchanged. The system with RTCP controls the tool center point instead of the tool rest. So, all command output from the controller is based on the coordinates of the tool center point. In other words, the control system always keeps the position of the tool center points consistent with the program's coordinates.

with RTCP vs without RTCP diagram

In this way, programming becomes relatively simplified and has nothing to do with mechanical movement. When programming for 5-axis cnc, we don't have to take the machine motion and the tool length into accounts. All we need to consider is only the relative motion of the tooltip and the object surface. Then the system will do the rest for you. 

What Is The Main Benefit Of A 5 Axis CNC Router Machine with RTCP?

For a 5 axis cnc machine with an RTCP function, we only need to use the CAM software to calculate the workpiece contour's coordinates. The controller will automatically take the tool length and wear value into account; So no matter how the tool length changes, the sure thing is that the tooltip will always be on the workpiece's contour. In conclusion, one same program can be applied to tools of different lengths. The program's versatility is much improved, and a program does not need to correspond to a single tool length.

For comparison, now let's look at the opposite situation.


Without RTCP, the 5-axis cnc machining programming will be much more complicated. We have to consider more factors, such as the axis's motion and the tool's length, and make compensation accordingly during the programming process. For the same job, if the machine or tool is changed, we must reprogram. As you can imagine, this work will waste a lot of time. The mismachining tolerance will be correspondingly worse, and the accuracy will be low. 


The machining program should be output based on the actual tool length. Therefore, a program can only work with a single tool length. If the tool length changes or the tool wears, we need to compensate for it in the CAM software and then output a new program. We will undoubtedly spend much time on program work, and the result is very low productivity.


In conclusion, RTCP will bring us these benefits:


It improves the versatility of program files and saves us much time spent on programming.

It can significantly reduce processing tolerance. 

It makes productivity higher.


Therefore, a high-performance, high-precision, and high-efficiency 5-axis cnc router must be the one coming with RTCP function.


Are you seeking a new 5 axis machine now? Please click here.


See you next time.

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

Copyright: original works, for permission to reproduce, reprint, please be sure to indicate the form of hyperlinks to the original source of the article, author information, and this statement.


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