Let us start from the beginning. Well, maybe not quite from the beginning. We’ll leave aside the stories of the chain-sliding table and concentrate on more modern machines.
Standard “Cartesian” machines*) can be divided into 3 groups: 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis machines. Naturally, we are talking about interpolated axes here – that is, axes that allow simultaneous movement in all axes at the same time.
Even basic 3-axis machines (X,Y,Z) are able to do most of the work:
– polishing of edges and holes,
– creating reliefs,
– polishing the sides of tombstones,
– forging letters, also on book type profiles,
– carving of washbasins, shower trays, etc,
– polished draining board – no slope.
Operating in the X/Y/Z axis:
X – left-right movement
Y – forward-backward movement
Z – up-down movement
As a rule, they can be equipped with:
– rotary table (manually or automatically rotated) in the range of 0-360°,
– crank arm swivelling the head in the range of 0-45° or 0-90°,
– head rotation 0-90° for perpendicular cuts,
– possibility of profiling.
Due to their simplicity and price, these machines dominate in Polish stone workshops.
3-axis machining centres
As a rule, the uninformed customer is apprehensive about this type of machine: “Why only 3 axes? What will I be able to do on this? Will it be enough for me?”
These machines also work in X/Y/Z axes and allow work in drilling, milling, edge and surface machining, as well as carving and scribing in granite, marble, ceramics and synthetic materials.
This machine will be ready to do 90% of the jobs expected by customers. Tops with holes and polished edges, drilling, lowering for induction hobs. It will manage polishing curved stairs, it can gouge a washbasin or a bathroom shower tray. With the right tools, it can also calibrate, polish or brush hob surfaces.
When the machine is equipped with the option of tilting the head (T-axis) in the range of 0-3 degrees, it is possible to make draining boards and shower trays, also at an angle. Without the T-axis we are also able to make them, but only in a straight line. Please note: the T-axis is not the fourth axis!
In tombstone production, the 3-axis centre will cut the shape of the inscription plaque with a cutter, polish its sides with “rollers” and make an inscription on its surface in any available font from MS Word. It will also make a relief.
As you can see, the 3-axis machining centre offers a lot of possibilities and there is no reason to worry about its usefulness with the vast majority of stonework.
Operating in the X/Y/Z axis and in the C axis – rotation of the head.
The C axis allows the head to rotate, which means it can work with units for
– blade cutting, also curved cutting,
– cutting at a constant angle of 44 degrees,
– polishing of sharp internal holes,
– making polished drip grooves,
– chisel carving at 90 degrees.
These machines can also be equipped with a T-axis.
Unlike 3-axis machines, these saws additionally move on a fourth axis, called the C-axis or W-axis. This is the axis responsible for rotating the head.
A 4-axis saw allows for curved cuts: stairs, circles, polygons. Please note that 4-axis machines only cut external arcs – internal arcs require interpolation of the fifth axis. In this type of machine the table is non-rotating, because the head rotates. Optionally, the saw may be equipped with a head tilting by crank handle in the range of 0-90° and the possibility to work with a cutter.
4-axis machines allow, among other things
– multiple cuts, also in multiple passes,
– longitudinal, transverse and perpendicular cuts,
– angle cuts and mitre cuts interpolated in axes,
– tilting cuts, also with multiple passes,
– curved, elliptical, circular and polygonal cuts,
– roughing and smoothing of profiles.
4-axis machining centres
In addition to the possibilities offered by the 3-axis machines mentioned above, the XYZC machine has the ability to rotate an axis to allow you to work with gensets, a sort of attachments with angular gearing.
There are several types of power units:
– disc cutter (small diameter discs),
– unit for sawing with a fixed disc angle of 44°,
– aggregate for making polished drip grooves,
– aggregate for writing at an angle of 90°,
– aggregate for making polished holes at an angle of 90°,
– aggregate for drilling from below,
– aggregate for working with a pot wheel,
Please note that the cutting unit – although it makes cuts – is not a saw. It is mainly used for “trimming” the material, not for continuous cutting.
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Konrad Węgrzyn | Published: 18.12.2020