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What Is A CNC Lathe Machine Used For?

What Is A CNC Lathe Machine Used For?

16 Jul 21

A computer numerical control lathe machine, otherwise known as a CNC lathe, is one of the most versatile machines in production. They are used for many production processes and quickly replace older lathes due to their easy setup and accurate and fast production. They are a staple part of the production process of a variety of industries, from sports to aerospace. 

But what exactly can you do with a CNC lathe machine? This blog post shows you a selection of a CNC lathe’s many uses, from musical instruments to dining room chairs and tables. 


How Does A CNC Lathe Work

A CNC lathe uses a stationary cutting tool and turns material around a central spindle. A simple CNC lathe will operate on 2 axes and rotates the material being cut. 


Programmed For Accuracy

Rather than being operated by a person, the lathes movements are dictated by programmed instructions. As multiple steps can be programmed, the material does not need to leave the lathe. This means correct placement and more accurate cuts. 


What Materials Can A CNC Lathe Work With?

Most CNC lathes work with most materials. This is another reason they are such commonplace. Commonly used materials include metals (such as copper, steel, aluminium, and brass), woods, and some plastics. 


Who Uses CNC Lathes?

The wide range of materials a CNC lathe can work with combined with its high accuracy makes it a fantastic option for many production processes. This is why so many industries have adopted them. You can find CNC lathes being utilised in production processes for industries including aerospace, automotive, medical equipment, electronics, sports and more. A CNC lathe will generally be used to create parts. 

However, some items (such as baseball bats) can be entirely lathed. 


What Can You Make With A CNC Lathe?

Now that we have established what CNC lathes are, how they work and what they can work with, let’s look at some examples of what you can make with one. 



Instruments have been made with lathes for a long time. With the introduction of CNC lathes, the process has become increasingly accessible, effective and efficient. Some instruments can be made entirely from parts created with a lathe. Some instruments, such as guitars, require extra attention work, but the main body can be produced with a lathe. 


Sports Equipment

CNC lathes play a large role in the sports industry. They allow sports good manufacturers to efficiently create sports equipment, including bats, weightlifting bars, and pool queues. Great quality equipment goes a long way for optimal training, practice and performance. This makes it vital that manufacturers take full advantage of the tools to create equipment whilst maintaining accuracy quickly. 



Furniture parts, such as chair legs, have long been made using manual lathes. Now with the fantastic capabilities of CNC machines, manufacturers are making these components more quickly than ever before. 


Automotive Parts

Creating all the components of an instrument is one thing, but cars are far more complex. Nonetheless, CNC machines pinpoint accuracy has made them an amazing asset for the automotive manufacturing industry. With a CNC machine, you can create a number of automotive parts.


CNC lathes are incredible pieces of technology that have had a significant impact on the manufacturing processes of many industries. We have covered many uses of CNC lathes in this blog post, but this list is far from exhaustive.

Article written by: Mike

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