Swiss CNC machining is a high-precision machining technology that originated in Switzerland in the 19th century. Originally designed for the manufacture of small parts, this technology has evolved into a CNC machining method capable of producing complex parts. Swiss CNC machining is characterised by its high precision, efficiency and ability to handle complex geometries.

Swiss CNC machining

What is Swiss CNC machining

Swiss CNC machining, also known as Swiss-type lathes or Swiss automatic lathes, is a modern tool capable of producing very small parts quickly and accurately.

This type of machining technology originated in Switzerland and was originally designed to manufacture small parts. Swiss CNC machining technology is known for its high precision and ability to produce complex parts, and is particularly suited to the production of precision medical devices, watch parts, aerospace components, and more!

Swiss CNC Machining Principle

Swiss CNC machining is characterised by its unique guideway and sliding spindle housing design. The workpiece is held in place by the guide bush during machining, while the tool is moved by the spindle box.

This design allows the workpiece to move along the Z-axis as it rotates while the tool remains stationary, resulting in precise dimensional control and a high quality surface finish. Another key feature of Swiss CNC machining is its multi-axis control capability. Modern Swiss CNC lathes can be equipped with up to 5 or more axes of control, allowing them to perform multiple operations in a single machining cycle, dramatically increasing productivity!

Features and Benefits of Swiss Lathe

High-precision machining

Swiss Lathe machining techniques typically have very high precision, capable of achieving micron-level tolerances.

High Repeatability

Swiss precision machining is capable of producing high quality components with extremely high repeatability, which is critical for industries that require tight precision.

Complex part production

Swiss machining is ideally suited to the production of complex geometries, which are difficult to solve with other machining technologies.

Synchronised operations

Modern Swiss CNC lathes are equipped with multiple tool spindles, enabling multiple operations to be performed simultaneously for increased productivity.

Areas of application for Swiss CNC machining

Medical devices

Production of precision medical implants and surgical tools.


Manufacture of aircraft parts and spacecraft components.

Precision Machinery

Machines precision bearings, gears and other mechanical components.


Manufacture precision electronic connectors and circuit boards.

Watches and Jewellery

Manufacture precision watch parts and jewellery accessories.

What are the unique process characteristics of Swiss CNC machining compared to regular CNC machining?

Precision machining capabilities

Swiss CNC machining is particularly good at machining small, complex parts with tight tolerance requirements. The workpiece is usually fixed with a guide sleeve to ensure stability during machining, reduce material waste and improve precision.

Compact Layout Design

The compact layout design of Swiss CNC machine tools enables multifunctional machining, such as drilling, milling and tapping, to be realised in a small space.

High-precision guide bushing support

The workpiece being machined is supported by the guide bushings very close to the cutting action, which helps to achieve precise diameter and length control and reduce deflection and vibration, resulting in an extremely high surface finish.

Suitable for a wide range of materials

From metallic materials, to non-metallic materials such as plastics, it can be machined, and can meet the machining needs of different industries.

Efficient production process

Swiss machining is able to complete multi-process machining such as milling, boring, countersinking, reaming or tapping in a single clamping, which greatly shortens the production cycle and improves productivity.

Advanced Cooling System

The machine is equipped with a cooling system, equipped with a high-pressure cooling pump, which can effectively discharge metal chips from the cutting area, improve tool performance, extend tool life, and help control the surface finish and quality of parts.

Rotary broaching technology

The machine tool adopts rotary broaching technology, which can process parts without stopping the spindle and improve productivity, especially suitable for processing parts with polygonal contours.

What is the role in medical device manufacturing?

High-precision implant manufacturing

Swiss CNC machines are capable of accurately manufacturing patient-specific implants, such as knee implants and hip replacements, achieving tolerances of less than 4 microns. These devices are often made from biocompatible materials such as PEEK and titanium, and the use of CNC machines helps to address the high temperatures and contamination associated with the processing of these materials.

Production of surgical tools

In a variety of medical devices, Swiss CNC machining technology allows for the machining and manufacture of a wide range of tools. These tools include simple scalpels and scissors as well as complex robotic arms.

Manufacture of electronic medical devices

Many medical devices contain thousands of CNC-machined electronic components such as switches, buttons and levers, as well as electronic housings and enclosures. The manufacture of these parts requires adherence to strict regulatory standards.

Production of customised prostheses

Swiss CNC machining technology enables the production of custom devices based on each patient’s unique physiological characteristics, such as 3D scanning and CAD modelling to create prostheses with intricate details and high dimensional accuracy.

Manufacturing of small orthopaedic hardware

Orthopaedic devices such as plates, screws and rods are used in a wide range of medical applications, and Swiss CNC machining technology plays a vital role in the production of these orthopaedic devices, ensuring high precision and quality.

What are the main areas of application for Swiss CNC machines in the aerospace sector?

High-precision parts machining

Swiss CNC machines enable high precision machining of aerospace parts to ensure accuracy and consistency. This is particularly important in meeting the high precision requirements of aerospace parts, which are difficult to meet with traditional machining.

Complex shapes

Complex shaped parts can be machined by automated control based on the CAD model of the part. This allows aerospace engineers to better meet design requirements and increase productivity.

Efficient production and mass production

CNC machines allow for the continuous machining of multiple parts, resulting in increased productivity. Swiss CNC machining offers the advantage of efficient production and mass production.

Machining of aerospace materials

Aerospace materials are hard and difficult to cut, and Swiss CNC machines are equipped with advanced tooling and control systems that enable efficient and precise machining of these materials.

Machining of complex curved surfaces and shaped parts

Many components in the aerospace industry have complex curved surfaces and shaped parts. Swiss CNC machines enable precise machining to ensure the accuracy and performance of the parts.

Machining of monolithic components

Integral structural parts have higher structural strength and lower weight. Swiss CNC machines can machine integral structural parts and shorten the manufacturing cycle.

Assembly and inspection of aerospace components

Swiss CNC machines allow the assembly and inspection of aerospace components. The precise positioning and high stability of CNC machines ensure that components are assembled accurately and reliably. At the same time, CNC machines are equipped with advanced inspection systems that enable precise measurement and inspection of the machined parts to ensure product quality.

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