The Advantages of 3+2 Machining (Includes Video)

Our sister publication offers a deep dive into a subject we touch on in this month’s Profile Department.


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This five-axis Hermle C40U is among the equipment Eifel employs for 3+2 machining. 

Last month's profile article covered Eifel Mold & Engineering, where every decision is driven by its potential impact on three interrelated factors that the shop deems critical to competitiveness: people, technology and process.

However, the profile article’s 30,000-foot view of the operation isn’t only coverage we have to offer on this shop. For one, I visited Eifel as part of an annual American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) event designed to enabled mold manufacturers to learn from one another. However, Eifel sounded quite familiar to me even before I’d visited. Once I had a chance to get back to the office look into it, I found out why.

Prior to coming on board at MoldMaking Technology just in time to contribute to our January, 2014 issue, I worked for our sister publication, Modern Machine Shop. Eifel has appeared in those pages a number of times. Perhaps the most accessible example is this video from 2010, in which company president Rick Hecker and others discuss the advantages of 3+2 machining.

If you want to go even deeper (or if you prefer to read rather than watch), that’s not all Modern has to offer on this shop. The five-axis machining centers that facilitate 3+2 are one of the most important aspects of the “technology” side of the shop’s aforementioned, three-part business philosophy. The reason they’re so important relates to the “process” side of things; specifically, they facilitate zero-stock machining, which helps the shop eliminate downstream operations. Zero-stock machining is the subject of this 2012 article, which covers Eifel along with another moldmaker, Redoe Mold.

Finally, if you’re a regular reader of MoldMaking Technology, there may be more to come about this shop, which, as you’ve gathered from the above, has plenty of stories to tell and lessons to teach. My discussions there revealed plenty of other potential topics beyond five-axis machining. Stay tuned.