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CNC Machine Turning

CNC machine turning is a way to create cylindrical parts of varying sizes and dimensions. In it, a round workpiece is placed horizontally on a mandrel. As the mandrel rotates, a lathe or other cutting tool moves in a predetermined fashion, stripping away excess materials to form the outer circumference of the workpiece into the desired shape. Many CNC turning machines are also equipped with a horizontal drill to bore a hole through the workpiece’s center.

CNC turning is one of the most common computer-controlled machining processes. It excels at stripping away large amounts of material to create concentric products and parts. The process is extremely versatile and precise and can be augmented with additional milling, stamping or grinding to form complex, multifaceted shapes.

Computer controls ensure a high degree of accuracy and repeatability, making CNC turning a good choice for mass manufacturing. The process is automated, which keeps labor and set-up times to a minimum — a benefit for manufacturers looking for an economical way to bring their product to market.

Applications and Benefits

CNC machine turning is used to create a variety of different parts. A diverse range of materials can be turned, adding to its many potential applications.

CNC Machine Milling vs. CNC Machine Turning

So, what is the difference between CNC machine turning and CNC machine milling? Though they sound similar, CNC turning and CNC milling are almost opposites:

  • CNC Milling: In CNC milling, a workpiece is held in place while different drills and cutting tools go to work on it to create the desired shape.
  • CNC Turning: In a CNC turning machine, the tools — in this case, a lathe or similar device — are held in a predetermined pattern while the workpiece is moved and spun around so the lathe can do its work on the different areas of the workpiece.

Which do you need, CNC milling services or CNC turning services? It can depend on many factors, but because of the nature of CNC turning, you will only be able to use it to make cylindrical parts. When you do have a cylindrical part to make, however, CNC turning can be an advantageous method.

There may be other specifications and issues to consider when deciding whether to use CNC milling or CNC turning, and your consulting professional at American Micro Industries can help you determine which is right for you and your business if you are unclear.

Manufacturers use CNC turning both on its own and in combination with other machining processes. Almost any cylindrical product — from a baseball bat to an automotive camshaft — can be produced on a CNC turning machine.

Benefits include low set-up and tooling costs, superior accuracy and fast turnaround times. The main disadvantage to CNC turning is its limited nature — on its own, the process can’t be used to make rectangular or oddly shaped parts, for example.

CNC Turning Services at American Micro Industries

American Micro Industries is proud to offer CNC turning services from our Chambersburg, PA headquarters. Our facilities include a set of four Fadal milling machines capable of producing cylindrical components in a range of sizes, using several different materials. We can quickly turn around large orders, though if you have a smaller request, we can accommodate that, too. We are unique among CNC machining companies in that we don't impose a minimum order amount on our customers.

When you need CNC turning or any CNC machining services for your business, there’s no better choice than American Micro Industries. We have the best possible equipment, technicians and support staff, deliver high-quality products quickly and with short turnaround times and always go the extra mile for our customers. Find out for yourself and contact us today.

To request a quote or learn more about our CNC turning services and capabilities, contact our office directly.