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What You Must Know Before Buy 4 Axis CNC Router: Is It Simultaneous?

Publish Date: Dec. 09, 2020 Author: Cherry Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Dec. 09, 2020

Many friends perhaps don't know there are true four-axis and false four-axis two types in the 4 axis cnc routers before reading this article. Of course, this distinction is defined by our industry. The definition here is only for the 4 axis cnc router machine of rotary axis type. The spindle rotation type 4-axis is not within the scope of this post.

Before we dive into the specifics, let's look at the basic terms and notions connected to the 4 axis rotary cnc router.

As everyone knows, a 4-axis cnc router has four motion axes. But in fact, a machine with four axes may not be a real four axis cnc router. Because, only coming with a dedicated 4-axis cnc controller and 4-axis CAM programming software, can it be called a true four axis cnc machine. And this is the right machine capable of 3D carving projects like status, Queen Anne legs, and props. Otherwise, even if it has four axes, it is essentially a 3 axis machine.

For your reference, the most common 4-axis simultaneous CNC controllers include WEIHONG NK280, WEIHONG Lambda 4S, RichAuto A18, and the grades are from high to low.


Let's dive into the details now.

Working Principle and Application – True 4 Axis vs. False

The fake four-axis machine can only run X/Z/A or Y/Z/A simultaneously. Therefore, you have to disable X-axis or Y-axis instead of making the rotary (A-axis) be able to work. This kind of machine is also known as the index 4th rotary; it can only do some regular, symmetrical cylinder carving projects. The below picture is an example of such a projects.

regular and symmertrical post milled by fake 4 axis cnc router

You needn't do that for a real 4 axis cnc router; you can make X, Y, Z, and A all four axes work simultaneously. Correspondingly, it is capable of engraving regular, irregular, symmetrical, and asymmetrical jobs. For example, like the Queen legs below, a real 4-axis machine can do it, but a false 4-axis can not.

queen legs carved by real 4 axis cnc router

True 4-axis lends you more flexibility. It can engrave or mill cylindrical blanks at any angle from 0 degrees to 360 degrees.


For example, we want to carve a Venus model, as shown in the picture below. This kind of sculpture needs to be placed flat and cut in rotation mode; what's more, it needs four-axis work simultaneously to complete. The so-called fake 4-axis, because only three axes are moving there. It can only engrave some inverted trapezoid faces from above. Other shapes or angles cannot be reached.

Venus sculpture model engraved by true 4 axis cnc router

Please watch the carving demo to get a better understanding of what we are trying to say here.

What Benefit Does A Real 4 Axis Have Over A False One?

The true four-axis enables you to have a broader carving area perfect for 3D carving applications like sculpture and furniture legs.

The hardware and software configuration of the true four-axis are higher than the fake four-axis.

The true four-axis can cut slots at any angle on a cylinder object, while the fake four-axis can only make slots at 90 degrees.


I hope it helps! 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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