What is CNC lathe machine?

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What is CNC lathe machine?

What is CNC lathe machine?

Lathe machine is one of the most versatile machining tools in the manufacturing industry

The lathe machine has long history that is one of the oldest machining machine tool back to 1300 BC in Egypt. It was manual operated woodworking lathe that was used to machine symmetrical wood objects. The lathe machine now developed to advanced and precision machining machine which combine with computer control system technology for model industrials in 20th and 21st centuries. In the 1950’s, the CNC Lathe was developed, with more automatic and high precision tools, CNC Lathe become the most popular machining machine for all metal & plastic parts which required high-speed turning machining technique.

A lathe machine is that used to remove metal or plastic workpiece to create a custom desing shape and size based on CAD drawing. It is typically used to shape the block material into a desired form by removing the excess material with turning technique. Lathe machines are commonly used in metal working and metal spinning, such as screw, bolt, nut, bullet etc. It is the most precision and most efficiency machining technology for custom CNC Swiss turning and machining parts.

 is a machine tool that is used to remove metal from a workpiece to give a desired shape and size. A lathe machine is typically used for shaping the material into the desired form by removing the excess material from a given workpiece. Lathes are commonly used in metal working and metal spinning. A lathe is one of the most important material removal methods in the technology of manufacturing. 

What is a lathe machine?

What is cnc lathe machine?

A CNC lathe machine is developed from manual lathe machine that combine with Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNC) that can machine parts automatically for faster and higher precision but less labour working, it’s machining principle is no different from manual lathe machine, so A CNC Lathe Machine is a type of cnc machine that uses computer numerical control (CNC) to precisely cutting raw materials into various types of parts, the workpiece is clamped and rotated by the spindle of cnc lathe machine, while cutting tools that work on the workpiece, is mounted and moved in x-y-z axis. The beauty of CNC lathe is that they can produce complex shapes with high precision, without having the need of manually guiding the cutting tools. 

How does it work?

A CNC lathe machine is composed of four major components: The spindle, the headstock, the tailstock, and the carriage. The spindle is responsible for holding and rotating the cutting tool while it moves along its axis. The headstock is used to move and position the workpiece in relation to the cutting tool. The tailstock holds and supports workpieces while they are machined by holding them in place against a surface called an “abutment”. Finally, the carriage moves along two axes (X-axis and Y-axis) to cut the workpiece to a desired shape and size.

3 types of CNC Lathe machining


Facing is when you remove metal from a cylindrical work piece, usually creating a smooth surface.


Turning is when a turning tool is applied to the work piece to create groves, ridges and indents. 



Boring is when you enlarge an existing hole. The hole can be drilled, molded, cast or a forged hole. 



Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

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