WHAT IS CNC TURNING ?
CNC, short for 'Computerized Numerical Control', and CNC turning generally uses general-purpose or special-purpose computers to achieve digital program control of the working machine.
Among the machining process, CNC turning is mainly used for the cutting of inner and outer cylindrical shaped parts, such as shafts, inner and outer conical surfaces with arbitrary cone angles, complex rotating inner and outer curved surfaces, cylinders, and conical threads. It can also perform grooving, drilling and boring etc.
Traditional mechanical processing is performed by manual operation of ordinary machine tools. During processing, the mechanical tool is shaken by hand to cut metal, and the accuracy of the product is measured by tools such as eyes and calipers. Compared with traditional lathes, CNC turning are more suitable for turning revolving parts with the following requirements and characteristics:
(1) Parts with high precision requirement
Due to the advantage of high rigidity, high precision of manufacturing and tool setting, and the convenient and accurate manual compensation or even automatic compensation, CNC turning can process parts with high dimensional accuracy. In some occasions, it would be better than grinding. In addition, because the tool movement in CNC turning is operated by high-precision interpolation and servo drive, coupled with the rigidity of the machine tool and high manufacturing accuracy, it can process the parts with high requirements on the straightness, roundness, and cylindricity of the generatrix.
(2) Rotary parts that have requirement in surface and roughness
CNC turning can machine parts with small surface roughness, not only because of the rigidity and high manufacturing accuracy of the machine tool, but also because of its constant linear speed cutting function. In the case that the material, the amount of fine turning and the tool have been determined, the surface roughness depends on the feed speed and cutting speed. Using the constant linear speed cutting function of the CNC lathe, you can choose the best linear speed to cut the end face, so that the cut roughness is small and consistent. CNC lathes are also suitable for turning parts with different surface roughness requirements. The parts with small roughness can be achieved by reducing the feed speed, which is not possible on traditional lathes.
(3) Parts with complex contour shapes
The CNC lathe has the function of arc interpolation, so you can directly use the arc command to process the arc contour. CNC lathes can also process contour revolving parts that include arbitrary plane curves. It can process curves described by equations as well as list curves. If turning cylindrical parts and conical parts can use traditional lathes or CNC lathes, it would only possible to use CNC lathe to turn complex rotating parts.
(4) Parts with some special types of threads
The threads that can be cut by traditional lathes are quite limited. It can only process straight and tapered metric and inch threads of equal pitch, and a lathe is only limited to processing several pitches. The CNC lathe can not only process any straight, tapered, metric, inch and end-face threads with equal pitch, but also can process threads that require a smooth transition between equal and variable pitches. When the CNC lathe is processing the thread, the spindle rotation does not need to be alternately changed like the traditional lathe. It can cycle one cut after another without stopping until it is completed, so it has a high efficiency in turning the thread. The CNC lathe is also equipped with precision thread cutting function, in addition to the general use of cemented carbide forming inserts, and higher speeds can be used, so the turned threads have high precision and low surface roughness. It can be said that threaded parts including lead screws are very suitable for machining on CNC lathes.
(5) Ultra-precision, ultra-low surface roughness parts
Disks, video heads, polyhedral reflectors of laser printers, rotating drums of photocopiers, lenses and molds of optical equipment such as cameras, and contact lenses require ultra-high profile accuracy and ultra-low surface roughness values. They are suitable It is processed on a high-precision, high-function CNC lathe. Lenses for plastic astigmatism, which were difficult to process in the past, can now also be processed on a CNC lathe. The contour accuracy of super finishing can reach 0.1μm, and the surface roughness can reach 0.02μm. The material of super-finished turning parts used to be mainly metal, but now it has expanded to plastics and ceramics.
What are the feature of CNC turning?
1. In the process of CNC lathe processing, the workpiece rotates around a fixed axis, which can better ensure the coaxiality between the processing surfaces and the accuracy of each processing surface.
2. The materials processed by some precision mechanical parts have low hardness and good plasticity. It is difficult to obtain a smooth surface with other machining methods, but it is easier to reach a smooth surface with CNC lathe processing for finishing.
3. The Magazine used in CNC Turning is one of the simplest among all mechanical processing methods. It is very convenient to operate whether manufacturing, sharpening or installation, and can better meet the processing requirements of the workpiece.
Overall, CNC turning has its own feature that is different from other mechanical processing methods, and its turned parts also play an important role in many applications, such as automotive, aerospace, etc.
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