CNC or Computer Numerical Control converts the design into numbers with the help of CAD. These machines offer proper instructions and design work properly and generate accurate results. The spindle helps rotate the tools, and it functions better with tightly clamped and accurate fittings. The cutting tool is mounted to perform the material’s functions. Also, these machines work on different axis and dimensions of the material. Manufacturers use CNC lathes as a basic machine in their industry. It involves materials and parts revolving around the axis, making them an ideal choice for the machinery. The standard CNC lathe machine works on two axes. The processing tools will fix on 8 to 24 turning machines. Turning refers to the rotating axes of these stations. Therefore, manufacturers also call this machine a CNC turning machine.
Uses of CNC Lathes
You can use a CNC lathe machine to produce circular shapes. These round shapes include an outer diameter and an inner diameter. The tool enables an assortment of wide-ranging materials, depending on individual applications of the relevant industry. CNC lathes are common in oil and gas, medical, ship construction, and mining. The manufacturers can produce bushings, hubs, flywheels, shafts, knobs, and pulleys.
Today, these machines are different from traditional versions. Modern CNC lathe machines include multiple axes. Furthermore, these machines include a spindle, a second turret on the x and y-axis. These components enable the machine to perform wide-ranging activities such as tapping, drilling, and milling. It ensures an effective manufacturing process that eliminates the need to change the machine to perform different functions. Overall, it saves you a lot of time and speeds up the entire process.
Benefits of CNC Lathe Machine
These modern machines are different from traditional ones in numerous ways. The operating process is really simple with advanced lathe machines. Here are some benefits of CNC lathe machines:
- Increased precision
- Repeat and replicate the shape
- Adjusting the position of the workpiece for optimal accuracy.
- Higher operating speeds.
- Highly powerful for driving axis
After setting up the machine, it will automatically function, as programmed, for long periods. However, you need an operator to take care of the accuracy aspect.
Horizontal CNC Lathe Machine
These machines function by rotating the object cylindrically. Furthermore, it cuts the workpiece into desired shapes. The horizontal machine holds the material in a vertical position and holds a large space, making lathes perfect for small to mid-sized materials. It also includes a chuck that holds the object in a vertical position. These machines are best for lighter materials as the chuck holds the material against the gravitational pull.
Vertical CNC Lathe Machine
The material to be cut stands upright in this machine. It reaches angles accurately by helping the spindle cut harder. To install this machine, you need little space. With these lathe machines, you can manufacture larger and heavier objects. Although this machine contains two spindles for a single material, it requires less space to keep. Moreover, the vertical design of the machine helps keep the object stable because of the gravitational force. This offers fixed spindle movements for precise and accurate cutting. Of course, these beneficial features imply that vertical CNC lathe machines are more expensive than horizontal lathe machines.
Types of Lathes
CNC lathes have different types and varieties of machines that you can choose from, depending on your requirements. Here are some types of CNC lathes:
- Engine Lathes
A motor lathe is perfect for low-power operations and is preferred by manufacturers in various industries. Since the device is versatile and reliable, it is suitable for different applications. It provides an impressive range of feed and speed rates and is ideal for manufacturers because they can work with numerous metal types.
- Central Lathe
This lathe includes gears that help in operating and managing the speed of the spindle. You can operate the gears with the help of a lever.
- Gap Bed Lathe
The gap bed lathe comprises a removable bed section that makes it possible to add a workpiece with a larger diameter. Besides this, the headstock is removable as well.
- Speed Lathes
The speed lathe only contains a turret, a tailstock, and a headstock. Because this machine works at three or four speeds, you cannot use it for heavy machine operation.
- Bench Lathe
This bench lathe is small in size, and you can mount it for a workbench. These machines are light working machinery not suitable for heavy work.
- Tool lathes
The tool lathe has different feeds and speeds, making it a versatile option to finish the task.
- Turret Lathes
A turret lathe can enable you to perform multiple tasks with ease. These are sequential and fast working tools.
- Special-purpose lathes
Manufacturers can produce heavy identical parts using this special-purpose lathe machine. Some popular special purpose lathes are CNC crankshaft lathes, automatic lathes, copying lathes, jewelry lathes, and multi-spindle lathes.
When you purchase the CNC machine, focus on the clamps’ quality. The clamps hold the material into position, and tools cut the material. You should focus on the quality of clamps, as low-quality clamps will move inaccurately during the process. Both the horizontal lathe machine and the vertical lathe machine have different features, so it is essential to compare them properly. The horizontal lathe machine is inexpensive but ideal for small materials. On the other hand, the vertical lathe machines are expensive but work well with larger objects. Ultimately, you should purchase one depending on the manufacturing you require. Apart from these two options, various options are available for specific use.