Of TDB’s various CNC services, CNC turning is frequently requested for a certain category of parts. Turning is a CNC machining process in which the workpiece is rotated at speed in a chuck. Unlike with CNC milling, the cutting tool does not spin.
Turning can be carried out on metals like aluminum, magnesium, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, titanium and nickel alloy, as well as plastics like nylon, polycarbonate, ABS, POM, PP, PMMA, PTFE, PEI, PEEK. CNC turning machines are also known as lathe machines.
Advantages of CNC turning
1. Cylindrical parts
CNC turning machines are ideal for creating round or cylindrical parts. Lathes create these parts quickly, accurately and with excellent repeatability.
2. Range of processes
Although generally used for parts of a certain shape, CNC turning can still be used to carry out a variety of cuts, including drilling, boring, threading and knurling.
CNC turning is a particular form of precision machining in which a cutter removes material by making contact with the spinning workpiece. The movement of the machinery is controlled by computer instructions, allowing for extreme precision and repeatability.
Turning is different to CNC milling, in which the cutting tool rotates and is directed from multiple angles at the workpiece, which is usually stationary. Because CNC turning involves rotating the workpiece in a chuck, it is generally used to create round or tubular shapes, achieving far more accurate rounded surfaces than would be possible with CNC milling or other processes.
The tooling that is used with a CNC lathe machine is mounted to a turret. This component is programmed to make certain movements and remove material from raw materials until the desired 3D model is formed.
Like CNC milling, CNC turning can be used for the rapid manufacture of either prototypes or end-use parts.
CNC turning metals
CNC turning can also be used to process metals like magnesium, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, titanium and nickel alloy. Which are often made from aluminum, the most machinable metal. Aluminum parts can be made with high strength and accuracy, as well as a superior surface finish.
CNC turning plastics
While precision machining is typically used for metals, TDB can also provide CNC turning services for plastic parts. Materials available for CNC turning include nylon, polycarbonate, ABS, POM, PP, PMMA, PTFE, PEI, PEEK, providing more accurate parts than 3D printing.
Helping Our Customers
Precision Acrylic Prototype
This is a lens we did for a famous automotive lighting company. Before they reached out to TDB, they did testing with numbers of other prototype companies. The parts they received looked brilliant at first glance, but as soon as they go for light simulation testing, none of them were able to hit the mark.
The reason? Well, simply because the prototypes from these other services were not accurate enough. So, they thought they would have to outsource from Europe. However, when they approached the TDB team, the company soon discovered that they had finally found a service provider that could meet their needs.