CNC Rotary Table Guide

What Is a CNC Rotary Table?

A CNC rotary table is a part of CNC milling machinery used for precision metalworking. It is similar to an indexing head or a dividing head, except that it is fixed on two planes – the horizontal plane and vertical plane. A CNC rotary table is used for CNC milling and provides a solid base that allows metal materials to be clamped on the work tables and other kinds of equipment. The table of the CNC milling equipment is a precision machined disc that provides the clamping of material with the help of T-slot. The rotary table can either rotate by itself or controlled a worm, or a handheld operational control.  

Construction of a CNC Rotary Table

A standard CNC rotary table is able to hold at least 20 metric tons of objects. The work piece can typically be up to five meters by three and a half meters. It is often complemented by a gigantic bearing which is located at the underside of the table. The bearing makes sure that there are minimum friction and no stick-slip. The position of the table is read by the absolute angular encoder. The table turns and is put in position as the hydraulic brake firmly holds it. The brake expands as it holds the table in place. There are generally two servo motors underlying the table with two pinions to ensure that there is no backlash. The body of the CNC rotary table moves up and down on the hardened box ways. Ball screws, planetary gearboxes, and pillow boxes are also used to complement with the table.  

How Accurate Are CNC Rotary Tables?

CNC rotary tables are able to maintain high degree of accuracy using a graduated dial. The center of the table has a hole that enables a fixture to be inserted. A tailstock is often available if the CNC rotary table is mounted from its end so that the axis will be horizontal. To capitalize on its extreme accuracy, the working table is used on a milling machine in a way that the vertical axis is on the same plane as the cutter.

Selection Tips for CNC Rotary Tables

There are a ton of CNC rotary tables available on the market today with different specifications and features. They come in certain sizes and shapes which are designed for specific applications. When selecting a CNC rotary table, you should decide whether you need a general-purpose model or a specialized model. It is advised to discuss with someone in the relative area of expertise as to how the tables work and which model best fits your line of work. This is a good way to make sure that you are not easily swayed by industrial propaganda in the market, but to base your purchase decisions on experts’ experience so that you will not end up with the wrong equipment. It also helps to actually visit a shop and get a feel of how CNC milling equipment works. Alternatively, you can also attend CNC seminars to gain some professional views pertaining to the mechanism and selection tips of CNC milling equipment.

Setting Up Your CNC Rotary Table

Make sure you have a stable platform and secure CNC milling machine when setting up your CNC rotary tables. Properly installing your rotary table is very important for the success of your project because the less movement the better. The type of material to be held should also be taking into considerations, such as the thickness and sizes of your material. Also, looking for the right fixture for your CNC milling machines is imperative as well because it will help you save time and money when using your CNC rotary tables. 

Upon setting up the equipment, make sure you run a test plan with all the relevant variables included for a certain time frame. This not only helps you determine whether your rotary table functions as intended but also helps you become more familiar with the equipment. Try to familiarize yourself with different types of cut, sizes of bits, the depth of cut, the feed rate, etc. 

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