Nowadays, many processing methods have emerged, like turning, milling, grooving, and threading. But they are different from tools, using methods, and the workpiece to be machined. In this article, you will get more information about CNC turning. And these are the main content:
1. What is CNC turning?
2. Advantages of CNC turning
3. How does CNC turning work?
4. Types of CNC turning operations
5. Right materials for CNC turning
What is CNC turning?
CNC turning is a highly precise and efficient subtractive machining process that works on the principle of the lathe machine. It involves placing the cutting tool against a turning workpiece to remove materials and give the desired shape. Different from CNC milling and most other subtractive CNC processes which often secure the workpiece to a bed while a spinning tool cuts the material, CNC turning uses a reverse process that rotates the workpiece while the cutting bit remains static. Because of its mode of operation, CNC turning is typically used for producing cylindrical or oblong-shaped components. However, it can also create several shapes with axial symmetries. These shapes include cones, disks, or a combination of shapes.
Advantages of CNC turning
As one of the most useful processes, the CNC turning method gets much progress with the development of science and technology. CNC turning has many advantages like accuracy, flexibility, safety, faster results, and the like. Now we will talk about this one by one.
The CNC turning machine can execute exact measurements and eliminate human mistakes using CAD or CAM files. Experts can deliver incredibly high accuracy using cutting-edge machinery, whether for the production of prototypes or the completion of the entire production cycle. Every cut is precise since the machine being used is programmed. In other words, the final piece in the production run is identical to the first piece.
Turning centers come in various sizes to accommodate your applications’ flexibility. The adjustment is rather easy because this machine’s tasks are preprogrammed. The operator can finish your component by making the necessary programming adjustments to your CAM program or even build something entirely different. Therefore, you can rely on the same precision CNC machining services company if you need many unique parts.
Manufacturing firms adhere to strict safety rules and regulations to guarantee complete safety. Since the turning machine is automatic, less labor is required because the operator is only there to monitor the machine. Likewise, the lathe body employs fully enclosed or semi-enclosed protective devices to avoid flying particles from the processed item and lessen harm to the crew.
There is a lower chance of error when tasks specified by programming are carried out on CNC lathes or turning centers. As a result, this machine can finish production more quickly without sacrificing the final output quality. Finally, you can receive the necessary components faster than with other options.
How does CNC turning work?
1. Prepare CNC program
Before you start CNC turning work, you should have your 2D drawings of the design first, and convert them to a CNC program.
2. Prepare CNC turning machine
First, you have to make sure the power is turned off. And then secure the part onto the chunk, load the tool turret, ensure proper calibration, and upload the CNC program.
3. Manufacture CNC-turned parts
There are different turning operations you can choose, depending on the result you wish to get. Also, the part’s complexity will determine how many cycles you will have. The cycle time calculation will help you know the final time spent on the component, which is crucial for cost calculation.
Types of CNC turning operations
There are various types of lathe tools for CNC turning, and they can achieve different effects.
In this process, a single-point turning tool moves along the workpiece side to remove materials and form different features. The features it can create include tapers, chamfers, steps, and contours. The machining of these features typically occurs at small radial depths of cut, with multiple passes being made to reach the end diameter.
During this process, the single-point turning tool radiates along the material’s end. This way, it removes thin layers of material, providing smooth flat surfaces. The depths of a face are typically very small, and the machining can occur in a single pass.
This operation also involves a radial movement of a single-point turning tool into the workpiece’s side. Thus, it cuts a groove that has equal width to the cutting tool. It is also possible to make multiple cuts to form larger grooves than the width of the tool. Likewise, some manufacturers use special tools to create grooves with varying geometries.
Like grooving, the cutting tool moves radially into the workpiece’s side. The single-point tool continues until it reaches the inner diameter or center of the workpiece. Therefore, it parts or cuts off a section of the raw material.
Boring tools enter the workpiece actually to cut along the internal surface and form features like tapers, chamfers, steps, and contours. You can set the boring tool to cut the desired diameter with an adjustable boring head.
Drilling removes materials from the internal parts of a workpiece using standard drill bits. These drill bits are stationary in the tool turret or tailstock of the turning center.
This operation uses a single-point threading tool having a 60-degree pointed nose. This tool moves axially along the workpiece side to cut threads into the component’s outer surface. Machinists can cut threads to specified lengths, while some threads may require multiple passes.
Right materials for CNC turning
A wide range of materials can be manufactured by CNC turning, such as metals, plastics, wood, glass, wax, and so on. These materials can be divided into the following 6 types.
P: P always stands with the color blue. It mainly stands for steel. This is the largest material group, ranging from non-alloyed to high-alloyed material including steel casting, ferritic and martensitic stainless steels, whose machinability is good, but varies in material hardness and carbon content.
M： M and the color yellow shows for stainless steel, which is alloyed with at least 12% chromium. While other alloys can include nickel and molybdenum. It is can be manufactured into mass materials under different conditions, such as ferritic, martensitic, austentic, and authentic-derritic conditions. All of these materials have a commonality, which is that the cutting edges are exposed to a great deal of heart, notch wear, and built-up edge.
K： K is the partner of the color red, which symbolize cast iron. These materials are easy to produce short chips. Cast iron has many types. Some of them are easy to machines, such as gray cast iron and malleable cast iron, while others such as nodular cast iron, compact cast iron, and austempered cast iron are difficult to machine.
N: N is always shown with the color green and non-ferrous metals. They are softer, and include some common materials, such as aluminum, copper, brass, and so on.
S: S shows the color orange and super alloys and titanium, including high-alloyed iron-based materials, nickel-based materials, cobalt-based materials, and titanium-based materials.
H: gray and hardened steel. This group of materials is difficult to machine.
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