Simultaneous 5-Axis vs. 3+2 Axis Machining:Detailed Comparison

Metal parts are moulded on a 5-axis CNC machine, demonstrating the precision and versatility of advanced machining technology.

In CNC machining, Simultaneous 5-Axis and 3+2 Axis machining are the two main types. Each has its traits and range of uses. Simultaneous 5-Axis can machine on five independent axes at once. It can handle very complex shapes and is best for high-end precision machining. 3+2 Axis adds two rotary axes to the traditional three-axis machining. Although it can’t do simultaneous machining on all five axes, it still offers better contact angles and higher efficiency for certain complex parts.

Next, Yonglihao Machinery will describe the specific uses, benefits, and selection guide for Simultaneous 5-Axis and 3+2 Axis machining. This will help you better understand these two machining technologies and find better solutions for your projects.

Table of Contents

Detailed Comparison of Simultaneous 5-Axis vs. 3+2 Axis Machining

Simultaneous 5-axis vs. 3+2 Axis CNC machining each has clear advantages. The choice depends on the specific machining needs, budget, and desired accuracy and efficiency.

Simultaneous 5-Axis CNC Machining

5-Axis CNC machining is advanced. It can machine in five axes at once. It can handle complex shapes and do precise machining in many positions. This improves machining efficiency and quality. The Simultaneous 5-Axis CNC machine does high-precision machining of complex parts. It does this by moving three linear axes, X, Y and Z, and two rotary axes (e.g., the A-axis and the B-axis).


Accuracy: Provides extremely high machining accuracy, especially for complex shapes and small features.

Speed: It can complete multi-face machining in one pass. This greatly cuts workpiece changeover time and boosts machining efficiency.

Complex Shape Handling Capability: Capable of machining a variety of complex geometries, providing greater machining flexibility.

3+2 Axis CNC machining

3+2 Axis CNC machining is also called three-plus-two-axis machining. It combines traditional three-axis machining with two extra rotary axes. But, it does not control them simultaneously. This method expands the range and flexibility of machining. It does this by enabling the workpiece to be machined in five-facing positions. This is done using rotary axes fixed at specific angles.


Cost-effective:3+2 Axis CNC machining is usually cheaper than full 5-axis machining. So, it’s ideal for projects with tight budgets.

Simplified programming: Machining does not need control of all five axes at once. So, programming is simple to learn and use. This makes it less difficult to operate.

Precision CNC machine tools create complex metal shapes, demonstrating the practical capabilities of multi-axis technology manufacturing - Simultaneous 5-Axis or 3+2 Axis machining

Industries and their respective machining methods

CNC machining uses simultaneous 5-axis and 3+2 Axis technologies. These are used in many industries, especially aerospace, automotive, medical device manufacturing, and consumer electronics. They offer their unique advantages.


Simultaneous 5-Axis machining: In aerospace, this tech makes high-precision parts. These include turbine blades, engine housings, and complex spacecraft components.

3+2 Axis Machining: This makes larger, simple aerostructure parts like wing frames and fuselage assemblies.


Simultaneous 5-Axis machining: To manufacture complex engine components, driveline assemblies, and customized body parts.

3+2 Axis Machining: It is widely used in making automotive molds. It also makes body parts and some standard parts.

Medical Equipment

Simultaneous 5-Axis machining: It is for making high-precision custom implants, surgical tools, and complex medical device parts.

3+2 Axis machining: It is for making regular medical devices and extra tools. These include stents and housings.

Consumer Electronics

Simultaneous 5-Axis machining: For the production of complex mobile phone parts, camera assemblies, and micro-electronic devices.

3+2 Axis Machining: They make the parts for big consumer electronics. These parts include laptop housings and TV backplanes.

CNC machining process for metal cylindrical parts, advanced CNC machining technology with detailed engineering

Cost Comparison

5-Axis machining is simultaneous. It offers unrivaled accuracy and handles complexity well. It dramatically reduces machining times and set-ups. But, it costs more and needs more skilled operators.

3+2 Axis machining is cheap. It makes programming and operation simpler. It is good for projects with limited budgets and less complex machining needs.

Related News: Cost Of CNC Prototyping A Cost Breakdown

Considerations for choosing a machining method

Manufacturers need to choose between the Simultaneous 5-Axis Service or 3+2 Axis Machining Service. They need to consider the following aspects:

Part Complexity: For extremely complex parts, Simultaneous 5-Axis machining is necessary.

Cost and Budget: When the budget is limited, 3+2 Axis machining may be considered.

Machining Efficiency and Accuracy Requirements: Use Simultaneous 5-Axis technology for high efficiency. It’s for ultra-high precision machining.

Technical capability and equipment investment: Simultaneous 5-Axis machining needs more tech and equipment investment. Companies should choose based on their conditions.

Each method has its own advantages and uses. This requires a manufacturer with rich experience and technical capabilities, such as Yonglihao Machinery. We can provide the best solutions for your needs. This ensures the project runs well and the product is high quality.

High-precision CNC machine at work on a metal component with Simultaneous 5-Axis positioning for intricate manufacturing tasks


When choosing between Simultaneous 5-Axis and 3+2 Axis CNC machining, the key is to understand their technical advantages and when to use each. Simultaneous 5-Axis machining is for high-end applications that need high precision and complex shapes. 3+2 Axis machining can be used in some less precise applications due to its cost and simplicity. Simultaneous 5-Axis machining is preferred for projects that require less precision. The right choice depends on the project’s needs, the budget, and the expected machining quality. Yonglihao Machinery can offer both technologies. They can recommend the best machining solution for the customer’s needs. This ensures a good balance between results and cost.


Simultaneous 5-Axis machining enables precision machining in five axes at once. It is good for complex shapes and provides higher machining accuracy and speed. 3+2 Axis machining adds two rotary axes to the traditional three. But, they are not operated at the same time. It is suitable for parts with simpler requirements at a low cost.

Simultaneous 5-Axis machining: These machines are used in aerospace, automotive, and medical device manufacturing. They are also used in consumer electronics. They are especially used for applications needing high precision and complex shape machining.

3+2 Axis Machining: For simpler aerospace parts, use standard car parts. Also, for general industry and some basic consumer electronics.

Budget is important for deciding whether to use Simultaneous 5-Axis or 3+2 Axis machining. Simultaneous 5-Axis machining costs more to use and operate. It is good for projects that need high accuracy and complexity. If the budget is limited and the machining needs do not require the high precision of Simultaneous 5-Axis machining, then 3+2 Axis machining will be a cheaper option. It will meet most of your machining needs at a lower cost.

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