CNC Turning Guide

Products like stainless steel bottles are not only pervasive in our daily lives but also provide a great many benefits, such as the fact that they are convenient and do not contain harmful chemicals like plastic bottles would. When enjoying these little essential products in our lives, have you ever wondered how some of these daily necessities, like the stainless steel water bottles, are made? This brings to our topic of the day ─ CNC turning, a machining method with a long history that has made the manufacturing of metal products an extremely easy process. 

What is CNC turning?

What is the CNC turning actually? To start, the term “CNC turning” stands for computer numerical control turning. CNC turning is a cutting process which utilizes a cutting tool that is placed against a spinning piece to take out the unwanted material. The cutting process is usually done with devices such as the CNC lathe or the turning center. These devices can cut the material such as the wood, metal, and plastic. There is a spinning tool which is utilized to cut the workpiece which is secured to the bed. This process is the most common way for the subtractive CNC machines to perform their function. The subtractive CNC machine is the type of devices we can see in the factories such as the mills, water jets, and plasma cutters.  

How does CNC turning work?

The usual process of the cutting goes as the tool moves across the workpiece or a tool head shoots at it. On the other hand, the CNC turning has the cutting process done in the opposite way as rotating the workpiece is rotated and cut away by a moving static cutting bit against the workpiece. Owing to the unique way of the cutting process, it is common for the CNC mills to be used for creating the workpiece which has complicated shapes. And for the CNC lathes, they are commonly used for creating workpiece which has cylindrical or oblong shapes.

CNC turning  performance parameters

There are several factors that determine the performance of the CNC turning process. These factors usually involve the material of the part and tool, the tool size, and the finishing requirements. Here are several factors which can affect the parameters of the CNC turning:

● The diameter of the workpiece

The diameter of the workpiece has played a vital role to arrive at the right cutting speed. The symbol for the diameter of the workpiece is usually label as the letter D and the unit for the diameter of the workpiece is the millimeter.

● Feed rate

The unit of the feed rate is millimeter per revolution and the symbol is S. The cutting feed will display the distance the cutting tool moves per one turn of the workpiece. The distance is measured axially.

● Axial cut depth

The axial cut depth will show the depth of a cut in the axial direction. It is the parameter which is mostly used for the facing operations. If the feed rate is high, there will be more pressure to be put on the cutting tool, which will in turns shortening its lifetime.

● Radial cut depth

Different from the axial cut, the radial cut depth will show the depth of the cutting perpendicular to the axis. If the feed rates are lower, it will help to prolong the lifetime of the tools and make a better finish.

Types of turning

There are several types of turnings to be used for the cutting of the workpieces. Here are some examples:

● Taper turning 

Taper turning is a type of turning which will create a workpiece with a cylindrical shape that has a gradually decreasing diameter.

● Spherical generation

Spherical generation is a type of turning which is done when the program produces a form around a fixed axis of revolution. 

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