Virtual axis – a great solution for 5-axis machining
Interrupting the execution of a 5-axis program is no longer a problem. Extracting the tool from the part is easy, just turn the “Virtual Axis” feature on and move in the desired direction.
A virtual axis is a fictitious axis that always moves in the direction in which the tool is oriented. It is up to the CNC to see the position of the rotary axes of your machine so if you wish to move perpendicular to the plane, you must only activate the virtual axis and move in that direction. Easy, comfortable and efficient.
Its great power resides in that you can use it on-line while executing a program. As easy as setting your program running, getting the handwheel, selecting the virtual axis and moving it without affecting the execution in progress.
It is really helpful, for example, for cast parts whose surface is usually very irregular. The tool can have different pass depths on the same path, so it is easy to control it thanks to this new application, immediately and without interrupting the execution of the program; therefore, making the operator’s job a lot easier.
Drilling at an angle does not require defining an inclined plane, just have the tool inclined and activate the instruction #VIRTAX. Besides, during the drilling process the tool may be removed in the direction of the plane it is in.
The Virtual Axis works with any type of kinematics and since it is just another axis of the system, travel limits may be set for it and avoid undesired collisions.
Example: Drill manually, with the tool rotated 35º on the X axis and 25º on the Y axis.
- (a) After rotating the rotary axis, position the tool at X50 Y35 Z10
- (b) Use the MDI mode to execute the instruction #VIRTAX to work with the Virtual Axis.
- (c) Move the virtual axis 10 mm in the negative direction.
The machine has interpolated the necessary axes to move 10 mm in the direction of the defined plane, but the CNC still displays the position values given from the beginning