5-axis competitive advantage with hyperMILL®
In 2004 in San Diego, California two experienced and motivated entrepreneurs, Steve Grangetto and Chris Taylor co-founded 5th Axis, Inc. As the company’s name implies, they recognized that 5-axis machining would give their new company a competitive advantage.
Today, they not only offer complex precision machining to meet a broad range of custom requirements, but have also evolved to manufacture their own line of 5-axis workholding products. The workholding line encompasses a wide range of vises, fixtures and adapters that complement a broad spectrum of CNC machines.
Chris Taylor boils down their company’s philosophy into one sentence: “From day one, 5th Axis’ strategy has been to take advantage of the most advanced software, equipment and technologies available.”
Today, their bustling shop floor is equipped with the “best of the best” 3- and 5-axis high-speed machining centers from Germany, Switzerland and Japan. To further support the company’s philosophy to use the most advanced software, all of the machines are programmed with hyperMILL® CAM software from OPEN MIND. But it wasn’t always this way.
Once Grangetto and Taylor began to dig into programming the machines, they discovered their existing CAM software had huge shortcomings. They were faced with unexpected machining collisions and couldn’t fully utilize the speed, capabilities and potential of their new high-end machines.
Grangetto and Taylor assembled some of their best talent to evaluate new CAM software for their high-end machining centers. Their team consulted with 5-axis machine manufacturers to determine what CAM software they were using to program 5-axis demonstrations. Without exception every single 5-axis demo, hands down, was programmed in hyperMILL®. Encouraged by this feedback, they decided to experience hyperMILL® first hand. Taylor recounts that, “We demo’ed hyperMILL® on a complicated 5-axis part that was giving us fits, and were very impressed by the efficient tool paths and the reliable collision avoidance. The demo clinched the deal and we’ve been successful using hyperMILL® ever since.”
Grangetto added: “Our company goal was to find a CAM software solution that allowed us to take advantage of the benefits of high-speed machining. The results have been faster run times, better surface finishes and overall better part quality. Over the years we found that hyperMILL® has fit our company’s strategy perfectly.”
More Speed and Efficiency
hyperMILL® CAM software from OPEN MIND also includes an exceptionally productive module called MAXX Machining. By careful control of material removal and use of smooth trochoidal tool path motion where possible, hyperMILL® MAXX Machining creates extremely efficient roughing tool paths. It allows feedrates to be set for the best cutting conditions, rather than the typical process of setting feedrates for the most challenging cut, such as a corner condition.
“hyperMILL® MAXX Machining roughing module extends tool life by maintaining a constant chip load. The bottom-line is, using hyperMILL® MAXX Machining results in super-efficient and fast tool paths.”
Chris Taylor, co-owner 5th Axis, Inc.
OPEN MIND Support – The Big Differentiator
Taylor said that, “hyperMILL® support is one of the things that really separates OPEN MIND from other CAM software vendors on the market. OPEN MIND takes complete ownership of post processor development, and that’s a really big deal, especially when 5-axis machining where an accurate post becomes extremely critical in avoiding crashes. The machine does exactly what we simulate on the computer screen.”
OPEN MIND postprocessors are developed as a core technology of the company, using internal experts. Postprocessors are customized and have configurable parameters to give the customer needed control for their particular environment. “We have the confidence to take on ever-more challenging jobs due to the combination of high quality tool paths and the advanced capabilities of the CAM software, the post processor support, plus having a team of extremely skilled technical support people on hand when we program very complex parts. With OPEN MIND’s help we never burn money getting stuck on a job. Their contribution has been a really big part of the growth of our business,” commented Taylor.
For Chris Taylor and Steve Grangetto, it is clear that hyperMILL® is the right choice for their business. They acknowledged, “hyperMILL® and our excellent working relationship with the OPEN MIND team has allowed us to make aggressive decisions that have helped us grow to where we are today!”