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Rotational Axes


In addition to the movements on the linear X-, Y-, and Z-axes, tools and workpieces can also move along rotational axes. These rotational axes describe how a part tilts or rotates around a line defined by at least two points. The three rotational axes are the A-axis, B-axis, and C-axis, as shown in Figure 1. Each rotational axis corresponds to one of the linear axes. The A-axis rotates around the X-axis, the B-axis rotates around the Y-axis, and the C-axis rotates around the Z-axis.

Rotational movement can describe a workpiece that is turned to expose different areas of its surface for machining. Rotational movement can also describe the angle of the cutting tool. For complex parts, a cutting tool that is angled may allow it to machine hard-to-reach areas. Figure 2 shows a part that required tool movement on a rotational axis.

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