What is CNC Turning?
CNC Turning is a specific type of CNC Machining, the term turning in machining refers to the process where the workpiece is rotated while a single point cutting tool removes material to match the final design. CNC Turning is commonly used for cylindrical shaped workpieces, however, it can be used for square or hexagonal-shaped raw materials, turning will be carried out on an equipment such as a lathe or a turning center.
What is a lathe?
There are many different lathes out in the market suited for different kinds of projects. There are two types of lathes that can be used for turning; conventional lathe, that is for the most part restricted to a two axes tooling and a CNC Lathe that can have up to six machining axes and in some cases, it has a milling capability.
Types of lathes:
Horizontal CNC lathes: are one of the most used machines out in the field, with this machine the machining occurs using horizontally configured lathes, meaning that they will rotate a workpiece cylindrically while tooling cuts the excess material. These machines are best suited for lighter materials since the chuck will hold the work piece vertically against the gravitational force pulling down, using a heavy material can damaged the chuck.
Vertical CNC lathe with this machine the workpiece rotates upright, allowing the spindle to cut at hard-to-reach angles, in this case gravity works in favor of the machine’s vertical design, keeping the workpiece stable throughout the machining process, allows for steady spindle movements and more accurate cutting.While not suited for high-production runs, they excel at taking heavy cuts on medium and large parts.
What is a turning center?
CNC turning centers are usually housed within a full machine enclosure to protect the operator and surrounding area from the chips and coolant used during the cutting process. Further a CNC Turning Center can be fitted easily with “Live Tools” which gives the machine the capability to stop the spindle and let these rotating tools in the turret perform milling, drilling, and tapping tasks across the turned profile
Types of turning centers:
Horizontal turning centers: are the most common across all industries, they have a spindle that is horizontally oriented, with tools mounted out of the side of the tool holder. This helps them cut across the object being processed
Vertical Turning Center these machines have a much larger turning capacity, but are mainly used for shorter parts, there are also inverted vertical turning centers, which reverse the position of the spindle and the turret placing the part on a moving and rotating spindle while the tools are mounted to a fixed bed.
Types of Turning
Straight Turning also known as cylindrical turning, it reducesthe work diameter in a uniform motion. The workpiece is held by the chuck, and it rotates about the axis and the tool is fed parallel to the lathe axis. The result will be a cylindrical surface.
Taper turning produces a conical shape by a gradual reduction in diameter from a cylindrical workpiece. A taper is the uniform increase or decrease in the diameter of the workpiece and is measured along with its length.
Grooving: It is the process of reducing the diameter of a workpiece over a very narrow surface. A grooving tool is like the parting-off tool, it is often done at the end of a thread or adjacent to a shoulder to leave a small margin.
Thread cutting is done by cutting in a helical path to make grooves that can be screwed into other objects.
Separately, none of these operations are magnificent. However, if you mix and match them all and incorporate the precision of computer programming, incredible high-quality parts are developed.
What are the Benefits of CNC Turning?
Accuracy: For many companies, the accuracy of CNC turning is one of their most competitive advantages. By incorporating CAD or CAM files into the process, the machine can perform rigorous measurements and eliminate the waste of human error. Using advanced machines can provide extremely high accuracy, whether it is to produce prototypes or complete the entire production process.
Faster Results: When using CNC lathes to perform tasks indicated by programming, there is less risk of errors. Therefore, this machine can complete production faster without affecting the quality of the finished product. In the end, you can finally get the parts or components needed by the industry faster than other solutions.
Cost Effectiveness: The cost of hiring a person to manually machine parts at scale are far more expensive than having a machine do it, as a machine will not tire, does not need lunch breaks, and can, theoretically run 24/7.