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CNC Turning

  • Description

    CNC turning is perfect for producing high-quality cylindrical parts. With this process, the part is spun and a stationary tool is brought into contact with the part to shape the material. Our advanced CNC lathes ensure accuracy, efficiency, and consistency across all production runs. We offer lathes with with live tooling that enables milling, drilling, and tapping away from the centerline of the part in order to reduce setups, speed up production time, and reduce costs.

  • Standard Guidelines

    Maximum part size:

    • 14″ diameter x 20″ length
    • 2.6″ Through bore up to 60″ part length

    Standard tolerances:

    • ±0.005″ (±0.127mm) for metals
    • ±0.008″ (±0.203mm) for plastics
    • ±0.002″ Concentricity

    Standard surface finish:

    • Ra 63 µin (1.6 µm) or better

    Edge breaks where unspecified:

    • 0.01″-0.03″ chamfers on external corners
    • Sharp internal corners along the tool length will be interpreted as a 0.015″ radius

    If you have tighter requirements than these, please upload a drawing including your complete part definition.

  • Materials

    Materials that are available for instant quoting are:

    Aluminum – 6061, 7075
    Carbon Steel – 1018, 1045, 1144, 1215
    Alloy Steel – 4140, 4340, 8620
    Tool Steel – A2, D2, H13
    Stainless Steel – 303, 304, 316, 17-4
    Copper – 110
    Brass – 360
    Bronze – 934, 954
    Plastic – Delrin, Acrylic, Polycarbonate, PTFE, PEEK

    Other materials are available by request. Select “Other” in the drop down menu and include it in the order notes.

How do I keep the cost down?

Almost all lathe tooling comes with a nose radius, typically .031″ or .015″. Leave a radius on any shoulders on your part to accommodate this, and if you need a hard stop specify an undercut. Check the width and maximum depth of groove tooling, and consider the depth that boring bars will need to stick out for internal features.

A common mistake is making a part too close to a standard size thinking it will save material cost and machine time. Most raw material’s stock finish has blemishes so we avoid leaving it unless specified in the print. If the stock is hot rolled, it is likely covered in mill scale and not straight to begin with. If you want to benefit from this line of thinking use a diameter around 0.05″ from the nominal diameter per 6″ of length for best results.

It is common for shafts and bores to have tolerances of only a few tenths to achieve the desired fit. But, consider if the sections of the part that don’t mate with another part need that precise of control.

Lathes are specially suited to long production runs. Bar feeders, subspindles, parts catchers, and part conveyors are common and make it easy to run complete parts all day with little manual intervention. This takes considerable setup time, and the larger the order the more it is amortized between the parts. Because of this, our order quantity limit before manual review is slightly higher for turned parts.

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