What are the most significant technology advances (software or hardware) that are improving these applications for 5-Axis machining? Obviously there are advances in position accuracy and repeatability of the feedback devices and more available processing power, but are there also algorithm developments and more sophisticated application programming techniques that are driving the advances in this area as well?
The more axis, the more chance of accumulating errors. Without a closed loop, 5-axis machines would be machining nightmares. I have a closed loop mill and I recently built an open-loop one for little projects. In the open-loop one, I can see where I lose steps. Over time, if that problem isn't addressed, the home(zero) drifts.
As a side note, I plan on adding a CNC rotary table to one of my mills. Closed loop is a must. That will make my design harder. (closed loop on a stepper? Yikes!)
Parallax Inc. is known for developing the Basic Stamp microcontroller development board and educational accessory kits. In addition to developing a user-friendly educational platform to learn about 8-bit microcontrollers and software programming, it created a multicore 32-bit chip called the Propeller.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].
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