One challenge of five-axis machining is streamlining rapid positioning for the best possible tool paths. Movements that are too loose can waste time as the machine moves from point A to point B, but tighter motions can result in damaging collisions if miscalculated.
One possible solution is to use software that optimizes tool paths automatically, such as ICAM Technologies’ SmartPath technoogy. The program works by identifying inefficient or unsafe positioning movements and replacing them with minimized, collision-free motions based on factors such as machine tool kinematics and axis positioning rates. As illustrated in the video above, SmartPath produces tool paths that stay close to the workpiece for greater efficiency, but also anticipates and avoids potential collisions to protect the machine and workpiece.