The rising demand for more time-efficient and cost-effective methods has forced companies and engineers to create innovations in manufacturing technology.
One of the most popular alternatives in today’s manufacturing world is the CNC lathe machine. In this post, we will show you what a CNC lathe machine. We will also discuss the kind of projects you can make with and the Best CNC Lathe for the Money.
What is a CNC Lathe Machine and What Does it Do?
If you ever took a shop class during your high-school years, you might be familiar with machining technology.
In essence, a CNC lathe machine works in a similar way to the traditional lathe machine. But, instead of using your manual skills and craftsmanship, you use Computer Numerical Control technology to give shape to your materials.
Different CNC lathe machines will have different configurations. But, typically, it consists of a main bed, spindles, chucks, head and tailstocks, a tool turret, a drive motor, and a CNC control panel.
A CNC lathe machine should have a minimum of 2 axes. However, the more complicated machines have up to 5 axes with two different turrets which enables you to operate two shaping tools at once.
But how does a CNC lathe machine work? A CNC lathe machine works by spinning a workpiece in a spindle. The workpiece used here can come in any shape and can be made from any solid materials like metals, woods, or plastics.
While the spindle spins, a cutting device approaches the workpiece and gradually removes pieces from that workpiece until it forms the targeted shape.There are three techniques available in using a CNC lathe machine including facing, turning, and boring.
Facing refers to the process of removing materials from a cylindrical piece. It aims to produce a smooth and nicely finished surface. On the other hand, turning involves create groves, ridges, indents, etc., using a specified tool. Lastly, boring is a technique used to enlarge any kind of hole, either it is a molded, drilled, or forged hole.
Because it uses modern computerized technology, a CNC lathe machine will give you a less time-consuming manufacturing process and a more precise final product. This machine will absolutely increase your productivity, especially if you have a growing woodworking business.
What Kind of Projects you Can You Do With a CNC lathe machine?
Practically, all types of forms can be manufactured with a CNC lathe machine, based on the requirements of the industry. Most big industries such as automotive, oil and gas, mining, electronics, etc., use CNC lathe machines. They use these machines to create parts and devices to help them meet their needs.
For woodworking, you can use a CNC lathe machine to create wood bowls, stair armrests, flower vases, and many more. Ultimately, CNC lathe machines are great for woodturning and woodworking.
Best CNC Lathe Machines
There are numerous CNC lathe machine on the market from different brands. Basically, the price of a CNC machine varies by type, but the average cost ranges from $80, 000 to &166, 000. Below are 5 different CNC lathe makers with proven product and service quality.
Mazak is not a new player in the game as they have been around for over a decade. They have offices and distributors across North and South America regions and are the best CNC machine brand.
Currently, Mazak have two product lines for their CNC lathe machines, Quick Turn and QTU series. The Quick Turn series was designed to handle any project from small shop jobs to high-quantity industrial-level production. It is equipped with advanced features such as automated bar feeders, gantry robot systems, and auto part catcher.
Meanwhile, the QTU series was created to provide more affordable options for users. However, the QTU series is packed with a bunch of features that give the series a high price-to-performance ratio.
Many users claim that Mazak products are easy to set up and operate. And, the demand for secondhand Mazak CNC lathe is quite high, making it easy to resell them.
DMG Mori is famous for its top-notch products and reliable customer service. They have offices in every continent, except Antarctica. Their most popular product line, the Universal turning series, is equipped with a large 930mm turning diameter.
This CNC lathe machine makes very detailed cuts because it has the MAGNESCALES measuring system, which promises you precise cutting results. One special thing about DMG Mori is that they provide a 24-hour delivery service for their spare parts. This is unbelievable because they’ll give you the part for free if they exceed the 24-hour limit.
With more than 40 years of experience in the machinery industry, you don’t need to question Doosan’s quality anymore. It is currently Korea’s biggest machine manufacturer and it has CNC lathe machines named after big feline species. This makes it the best metal lathe brand.
Doosan has a great range of CNC lathe machines. This includes their two-axis horizontal turning machines, multi-turret turning machines, and vertical turning centers.
Haas is the leader in the CNC lathe machine market in the western part of the globe. Providing economic and incredibly durable products, Haas has become the benchmark for CNC lathe machines.
Besides, Haas also shows their attention to its customers by providing easy-to-understand manuals and online video tutorials. More importantly, the spare parts for their machines are very affordable and easy to come by.
With the largest distribution network and more than 100 years of experience, Okuma remains one of the biggest players in the game. Okuma’s CNC lathe machine products are equipped with a Thermo Active Stabilizer feature that gives the ability to do the finishing and grinding processes with only one machine.
Besides, Okuma is known for bringing modern innovations, not only in their tools and machines but also in their marketing aspect. For example, they provide a virtual store, the Okuma app store.
A CNC lathe is a must-have tool for those planning on improving and expanding your woodworking business. If you want to get a CNC lathe machine, you will never go wrong with choosing one of the five brands above. Use this guide to choose the Best CNC Lathe for the Money.