Common machine tools use three axis (X,Y,Z), while multi-axis machines are able to use more axis when approaching workpieces. 5 or 7 axis are the most common, but other machine tools exist. The additional axis make it possible to machine from more angles and to make complex shapes. Another advantage is that more sides of a workpiece can be machined at once, which saves time.
The aerospace and defence industries source a lot of multi-axis machining, especially for airframes, engine blocks, turbine engines and impellers. Workshops that do multi-axis machining are quite rare, particularly for many axis. It is common that the purchasers require their suppliers to have the AS/EN/JISQ 9100 certification, which is the aerospace industry's standard certification.
Picture: Ilford Engineering Co Ltd