What is CNC Lathe Machining? Parts, Operations, & Processes

A traditional lathe is an ancient instrument that may be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. While the Ancient Egyptians used a two-person lathe only for woodworking, the use of the lathe has changed! The lathe idea has been improved to meet current industrial demands, such as automation. Lathes may now attain incredible precision with computer numerical control(CNC) machining.

What is CNC lathe Machine?

A CNC lathe(CNC turning machine) is a machine that spins material around a central spindle and a fixed cutting tool. Instead of being controlled by physical labor, the movement of your components is determined by coded instructions fed to a computer. Multiple stages may be set simultaneously, avoiding the need for your component to leave the lathe between producing and ensuring accurate cut placement. CNC turning machine

Specifications of CNC Lathe Machine:

Lathe Machines are generally designated with a swing which is the largest working diameter that swings the lathe bed. A Lathe swing is used to rotate objects that can do cutting, sanding and drilling. Some other specifications of lathe machines are the length of its bed. Distances between the headstock and tailstock center. Parts of the CNC Lathe Machine and their functions Let’s look at the major components of a CNC Lathe Machine:


Different types of CNC Lathe Machines Like the Flat Bed CNC Lathe Machine uses Headstock, which is an important component of CNC Machine that drives the motor and powers the spindle. The front component of a CNC turning machine is made up of the headstock. The drive motor powers this spindle. The spindle is attached to the chuck or collet. During the turning process, one of them grips the workpiece.

Collet and Chuck

The jaws of the chuck grasp the machined component. It connects directly to the spindle but is removable, allowing for machining various sized pieces. A chuck is a tiny version of a collet. Collets may be used on parts up to 60 mm in diameter. For small parts, they give a more excellent grip. The jaws of the chuck grasp the machined component. It connects directly to the spindle but is removable, allowing for machining various sized pieces. A chuck is a tiny version of a collet. Collets may be used on parts up to 60 mm in diameter. For small parts, they give a more excellent grip.


A CNC turning center’s opposite end is the tailstock. The aim of a tailstock attached directly to the bed is to provide support for longer workpieces. Hydraulic force is used to support the tailstock quill. The spindle continues to be the driving force and the tailstock follows the component. A tailstock is not suitable when face turning is required because the tailstock will get in the way.

Lathe bed

The bed is just a foundation plate that rests on the table and supports other machine components. The carriage is heat-treated to survive the machining impacts that runs over the bed.


The carriage is supported by means that let the rotating workpiece slide. It holds the tools in position, enabling the cutting operation to continue. The simplest of the Lathe Turning Machine is the 2 axis machine that spins on two axis in a fixed position called the station turret. This spinning action part is called turning. There are other CNC Lathe Machines like the 3-Axis, 4-Axis & 5-Axis milling machines. These machines have at least a 3 axis and move and operate on the X as Vertical, Y as horizontal and Z axis as depth. There are additional A and B axis for machines like the 4 Axis and 5 Axis Machines. 9-axis CNC is a blend of lathe and 5-axis machining. With 9 functional axes, the part can be turned and multi-axis milled in a singular set-up.

Operation & processes of a CNC lathe Machine

A basic CNC turning machine rotates the material it cuts while operating on two axes. Because the rotation of the material is usually referred to as ‘turning,’ CNC lathes are sometimes referred to as CNC turning machines. The inside and outside of the component may be machined using CNC turning machines. Internal operations will act to change the workpiece’s inner diameter. External processes shape the exterior.

Uses of CNC Lathe Machines

A Lathe CNC Machine is basically a shaping device used primarily for shaping of hard materials like metal and wood. The rotating device in the machine functions as a stationary cutting tool. With the help of CNC computers and programming these machines have a higher accuracy of cutting tools that were used before the advancement of these technologies. The Industrial Applications of Lathe Machines are cutting, drilling, sanding, turning or shaping of any kind. These machines are used in Factories and machine shops and have a versatility of cnc programming and softwares and does not just rely on the hands of factory workers.


Investing in a computer numerical control lathe versus a manual lathe has various advantages. Because their movement is controlled by code, computer-operated lathes are very exact. Multiple CNC turning machines may be operated concurrently by a single operator but manual lathes demand more attention. While CNC turning machines are initially more expensive, they can be less expensive to operate in terms of less staffing. Manufacturing times are shorter since more CNC machines are running simultaneously and all products produced are practically identical thanks to the accuracy of computer numerical control. Also Read: CNC Machine Installation

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