3 Axis CNC Machining, China Manufacturer & Supplier

3-axis CNC machining is the process of machining using a computer numerical control (CNC) machine that moves in three axes to control the position and direction of the tool.

Typically, these three axes are the X, Y, and Z. The X and Y axes are typically used to control the position and orientation of the tool in the horizontal plane, while the Z axis is used to control the position and orientation of the tool in the vertical direction.

Best 3-axis CNC machining supplier, factory, and manufacturer in China

At SANE, more than 350 sets of CNC centers, including 3-axis and 4-axis. It could completely meet our clients’ demand for prototyping parts in various of industries.

These days, product teams have lots of options when it comes to multi-axis machining, from 3-axis to 5-axis to even 9-axis machining. But for most prototyping parts, the 3-axis is quite enough to cover jobs. No need to pay the unnecessary costs by 5 or even 9 axes.

What is 3-Axis CNC Machining?

As the most common technique for creating a variety of parts, it’s vital to understand how it works and how to use it in your business.

The cutting tool moves along three separate axes to mill the part you are working on:

  • back to front
  • Side by side
  • Up and down

The cutting tool is placed horizontally or vertically and rotates while the part you are working on remains in place. You can use it to mill slots, flatten surfaces, drill and tap holes, and cut sharp edges. some of the benefits of 3-axis machining are:

  • The three axes move together, which allows you more freedom to create complex components efficiently.
  • This machine is the most versatile allowing you to produce fixtures, clamps, stocks, clamps, and more.
  • If desired, these machines can have an automatic tool changer equipped, which will allow you to complete multiple objectives on one device.
  • With additional coding, you can upgrade to a 3-axis CNC milling machine. The data only needs to be entered once for multiple uses. The 3-axis CNC machine definition gives the machine the ability to move three different axes at the same time simultaneously.
  • Depending on your machining center, you can upgrade to more axes if needed, at an additional cost.

How Does 3-Axis Machining Work?

3-axis machining is a type of computer numerical control (CNC) machining process that uses a cutting tool to remove material from a workpiece along three axes: X, Y, and Z. This process is commonly used in manufacturing industries to create parts and components for various applications.

The X, Y, and Z axes represent the horizontal, vertical, and depth dimensions of the workpiece, respectively. The cutting tool is mounted on a spindle that can move along these three axes, allowing it to remove material from the workpiece in a precise and controlled manner.

The process begins with the creation of a 3D model of the desired part or component using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The CAD file is then converted into a format that the CNC machine can understand, typically using CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software.

Once the program is loaded onto the CNC machine, the cutting tool is positioned above the workpiece and the machining process begins. The machine moves the cutting tool along the X, Y, and Z axes, removing material from the workpiece until the desired shape and dimensions are achieved.

3-axis machining is ideal for creating parts with simple geometries, such as flat or slightly curved surfaces. More complex shapes and features may require additional machining processes or techniques, such as 4-axis or 5-axis machining, to achieve the desired result.

3 axis ways of processing

Axis processing is processed by linear feed axes X, Y, and Z. Machining features: The cutting tool orientation remains constant during movement along the entire cutting path. The cutting state of the tool tip cannot be perfected in real-time.

5 axis ways of processing

5-axis machining is a linear interpolation movement of any 5 axes among the feed axes X, Y, Z, and the rotation axes A, B, and C around X, Y, and Z. Siemens’ motion transformation instruction TRAORI can well support 5-axis transformation.

Processing features: The tool direction can be optimized during the movement along the entire path, and the tool moves linearly at the same time. This way, optimum cutting conditions are maintained throughout the entire path.

3-axis machining vs. 5-axis machining

In view of price, If you’re on a budget or only need to cut a flat surface, 3-axis machines might be the way to go. In addition to being more affordable than those with five axes, 3-axis machines are simpler to program, so you won’t have to incur the cost of working with expensive expert programmers and operators. Plus, prep time is shorter with 3-axis machining. 

Using 5-axis machines lets you machine the workpiece from all sides — no manual rotation is required. You’ll have higher yields, greater accuracy, and increased freedom of movement, as well as the ability to manufacture larger parts faster.

Not all parts are suitable to use of the 5-axis, it depends on the reality of parts and complexity. Our professional engineering team will share answers with you.

Applications of 3-axis CNC Machining

3-axis CNC machining is used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and manufacturing. Some of the most common applications of this type of CNC machining include:

Automotive industry

3-axis CNC machining can be used to produce a wide variety of parts for cars and other vehicles. including engine blocks, brake rotors, and transmission housings.

Medical industry

3-axis CNC machining is often used to create medical devices and implants. Some of the most common medical devices that are created with 3-axis CNC machining include pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, and joint replacements. By using this type of CNC machining, medical device manufacturers are able to create complex shapes and components that are precise and durable.

Aerospace industry

3-axis CNC machining is used to design and manufacture parts for aircraft such as air conditioners, gas valves, and other critical components.


The advantages of 3-axis machining include the ability to efficiently create complex components, manufacture multiple devices and parts, and use automatic tool changers. This type of machining uses computer-aided design and manufacturing software to move the position and orientation of the cutting tool based on the CAD file. 3-axis machining is typically suitable for making parts with simple geometries, while more complex shapes and features may require 4- or 5-axis machining to achieve the desired results.