What is CNC Lathe Machining?

CNC Lathe Machining

CNC lathe machining is a machine tool processing method that utilizes computer numerical control (CNC) technology to perform metal cutting. It combines high-precision machinery, computers, automation control and other technologies to control the movement of the lathe through pre-programmed programs, thus realizing precise cutting and processing of various materials (such as metals, plastics, etc.). It is also called material reduction manufacturing.

In the CNC lathe machining process, you first need to prepare a machining program using specialized CAD/CAM software based on the part drawings and process requirements. Then, the program is imported into the control system of the CNC lathe. According to the instructions in the program, the CNC lathe drives the movement of each axis through the servo motor, so that the tool cuts according to the predetermined trajectory, and finally completes the machining of the part.

CNC lathe machining characteristics

High Precision

Thanks to the computer control, it is able to realize micron-level machining accuracy, which meets the demand for high precision requirements for parts.

High efficiency

CNC lathe can process continuously and automatically without manual intervention, which greatly improves the production efficiency.

Good Flexibility

By modifying the processing program, CNC lathe can easily adapt to the processing needs of different parts, with strong flexibility.

Wide processing range

CNC lathe can process various complex shapes of parts, including internal and external cylindrical surfaces, conical surfaces, arc surfaces, threads, grooves and so on.

Reduction of manual error

Since the machining process is controlled by computer, it reduces the errors that may be brought by human operation.

What are the types of CNC turning machining processes?

The types of CNC lathe machining processes are rich and varied, mainly including the following:

Drilling center hole: drilling a center hole in the workpiece to provide a positioning reference for subsequent machining.
Turning cylindrical: using a tool to turn the workpiece along its axis in order to process the desired cylindrical shape.
Turning end face: Turning the end face of the workpiece to achieve the specified size and shape.
Drilling: Drill the required holes in the workpiece.
Boring: Enlargement or finishing of existing holes using boring tools.
Reaming: Further finishing of holes to improve the accuracy and surface quality of the holes.
Grooving: Cutting various shapes of grooves on the workpiece.
Turning threads: machining threads on the workpiece.
Knurling: Rolling out patterns on the surface of the workpiece.
Taper Turning: Machining tapered surface of workpiece.
Forming: To produce complex shapes on the surface of the workpiece.
Tapping: Use a tap to produce internal threads on a workpiece.

What are the materials for CNC lathe machining?

materials for CNC lathe machining

CNC lathe processing a wide range of materials, common processing of the following kinds of materials


Metal is one of the most commonly processed materials on CNC lathes. Common metal materials include steel, iron, aluminum, copper, zinc and so on. There are also some special metal materials, such as titanium alloys, nickel-based alloys, high-temperature alloys and so on. These special metal materials are characterized by high hardness, good toughness, wear resistance, etc. They are suitable for manufacturing high-precision and high-demand parts.


Common plastic materials include POM, PC, PEEK, acrylic, PE, nylon. These plastics are lightweight, corrosion-resistant and easy to mold, and are widely used in various industrial fields. CNC lathe can process various shapes of plastic parts to meet different needs.


Ceramic materials are characterized by high hardness, wear resistance, high temperature resistance, etc., so they are widely used in some special fields. CNC lathe can process ceramic materials precisely and make ceramic parts with specific shapes and sizes.

If you have a need for turned parts manufacturing, please contact us for machmaster’s CNC lathe machining services, offering a wide range of the above materials for you to choose from.

In what areas is lathe machining used for special applications?

Automobile Manufacturing

In automotive parts, various shafts, disks, bushings and other parts are processed. These parts have complex shapes and high dimensional accuracy requirements, which are very suitable for processing using lathes. For example, engine crankshafts, connecting rods, camshafts and other parts can be machined on a lathe.


The aerospace field requires very high precision and quality of parts, so they need to be processed on high precision lathes. For example, parts such as turbine blades and magazines for aircraft engines need to be precision machined on lathes.

Mechanical Manufacturing

The field of mechanical manufacturing covers a wide range of part types, including shafts, disks, bushings, gears, and more. These parts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they can all be machined using a lathe.

Electronics Manufacturing

Lathe machining is also widely used in the electronics manufacturing industry. It is used to process various electronic components on computer motherboards, where positional accuracy is required to be extremely high. Lathe machining can handle all types of materials and can accurately control the diameter, length and other dimensions of the workpiece within the specified range.


Lathe machining has a wide range of applications, not only involving the traditional machinery manufacturing industry, but also involved in aerospace, electronics manufacturing and other high-tech fields. With the continuous development and innovation of technology, lathe machining in more fields will show its unique application value and potential.

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