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What’s better, rack-and-pinion or ball screw?

Ball screws are best known for being very smooth and virtually friction-free. Their shortcomings include the need for precision alignment, contamination susceptibility, and the need for increased diameter and weight associated with length (span) to prevent whip or vibration. This in turn, requires more gearing or larger motors to compensate for the weight, and need to maintain rapid positioning speeds. We have been installing ball screws for over 4 years and has no difficulty with the alignment procedures involved in machine assembly. We provide wipers and air/oil pressurization on the nut to prevent contamination. We also limit the length and diameter to allow the best balance without sacrificing speed or performance. In the need for a longer ballscrew we opt for the rotating nut arrangement, which prevents the vibrations associated with the ballscrew rotation. Ballscrew is the best combination for Routers and Milling in our conditions.

Rack-and-pinion drives are best known for being rigid and not limited by length. When mounted properly, they provide years of use with minimal wear and are impervious to dust and debris. Rack-and-pinion's shortcomings include lower efficiency (due to higher friction), backlash caused by poor engagement of the pinion, and vibration caused by tooth profile. CNC Plasma systems would benefit using rack and pinion.

What’s the difference between a stepper and servo?

Both stepper and servo drives provide basically the same cutting results. Primarily, a stepper is an “open-loop” system, and a servo is a “closed-loop” system. In a closed-loop system, there is constant signal feedback from the encoder (or motor) to the servo drive. This feedback tells the servo drive exactly where it is within its move. Thus, the servo drive can adjust its power output, as needed, to complete the move. The servo is more powerful, has quicker acceleration time and positioning speed.The stepper tends to heat up a lot with use and cannot be recommended for a high speed system due to its accuracy issues. All of Axicomm’s CNC machining centers are servo-driven.

What size machines do you offer?

Both the Numax and Promax Series offer 1250 by 1250, 1250 by 2500 or 1500 by 3000 standard cutting areas. Special requests for custom lengths and widths on both models will be handled on an individual basis.

What HP spindle do I need?

As with most subjective questions, the type and thickness of your material, the type of tooling you’re using and the nature of your part(s) will determine what type of spindle you need. We will happily assist you to determine the ideal spindle for your needs.

How much is the Z-axis travel distance? Can you make it longer?

The standard Z-axis throat clearance is 8" but can be modified up to 24”. Special requests for custom Z-travel distances will be addressed on an individual basis.

How accurate are your machines?

Each of Axiconn’s machines have a positioning accuracy of ±.02mm over the entire length of the machine. However, improper tooling and feed rates may affect accuracy.

Which Plasma power supply would you use?

We use only Hypertherm power supply with our machines. They have the best performance combined with ease of use and lowest maintenance cost.

How fast will my machine go? How fast can it cut my parts?

Axiconn’s Numax series has positioning speeds of up to 12000mm-per-minute. The Promax Series can move traversely at up to 20000 mm-per-minute. However, your cutting speed (feed rate) will depend upon various factors, including:

Rigidity of set-up—Vibration is a major source of tool wear and poor finish. Lesser the vibration, the quicker you can feed your cutting tool, and consequently, the smoother finish you will get.

Machine environment—Other variables that affect every machining application are spindle horsepower, rigidity and runout, collet condition, fixturing system and tool sharpness.

Number of flutes—Single flute tools should generally be fed at a slightly higher rate (approximately 10%) than double flute tools.

Bit diameter—A 10mm bit can be fed 10% faster than a 6mm bit. A 12mm bit can be fed 20% faster than a 6mm bit.

Depth of cut—Your feed rate should be decreased approximately by 25% for each multiple of the depth of cut. (If depth is two times, reduce by 25%; if depth is three times, reduce by 50%.)

Spindle speed—The faster the RPM of your spindle, the quicker you can cut your parts. Standard RPM on tool changers is 24,000.

Tooling catalogs will typically provide CNC machining feed charts as a reference tool. When buying tools, these guides can prove to be an valuable reference.

How do you program the machine to cut parts? Is it easy to do?

The motion control software we use is based on standard G-codes. The G-codes provide a source code comprised of inches/mm and axis movements which can be edited and understood by others. Most CAM packages will generate G-codes from the drawings you create. It’s actually quite simple.

What other software, other than what’s included with the machine, do I need?

No extra software is needed to actually run the CNC machine. However, your specific needs will determine if you need any specialized software (AutoCAD, etc.) to create your part files and CAM them.

How do I fix my material?

The size of your part, type of material and production goals will determine the most suitable method. Generally, a vacuum system is the most efficient method of fixing your material. Axiconn offers vacuum systems with either a regenerative blower or claw pump. A rotary blower is usually better for smaller parts. You can also mechanically fix your material with clamps and screws.

Do you offer training?

Training in the operation of Axiconn’s equipment is available at the time of installation. Additional training is also available, but our customers usually adapt to it quite easily.

How long does installation and initial training take?

Since our machines are delivered completely assembled and pre-wired, installation usually takes half a day. Our recommended initial training lasts 1-2 days or more, if necessary.

What type of warranty do you provide?

Axiconn stands behind every machine we build. And we back them up with a warranty that ensures quality and dependability. We warrant every component we manufacture against defects in workmanship, materials and construction when used under normal operating conditions and in accordance with provided specifications for a period of one (1) year from the date of delivery. We will repair or replace, at our option, any of our products found to be defective during the warranty period. Call for complete details of the Policies Terms and Conditions.

Anyone can build a CNC system that cuts the first day but Axiconn designs a machine that will continue to hold tolerance and perform essential cuts 4-6 even 10+ years down the road.