Skip to content

Types of cnc lathes

This post could be very long if I talk about all the types of lathes that exist, they are many types. There are parallels, verticals, cnc, automatics, with cams, revolver, etc.

But we are going to focus on those that include some type of cnc automation.

Cnc parallel lathe

It is possibly the most common variety. With this type of lathe, we can manufacture parts to measure, just like a parallel lathe, but with much greater precision and, if the part is complex, we could even do it much earlier, even adding the design time.

They have a traditional three-jaw chuck that is usually tightened automatically by compressed air, and they often have a tool changer to streamline machining.

There are models with 2 tool holders to be able to carry out 2 operations at the same time, for example, an internal emptying and an external threading or vice versa.

There are also models that have 2 plates, one in front of the other to do very specific machining of parts that need to be machined on both sides without losing their concentricity.

Cnc lathe with feeder

This variety of lathe does not differ much from that of the conventional lathe in terms of functions. The biggest difference is its bar feeder which allows material to be fed as soon as the lathe finishes machining a part. This is ideal for series productions and long runs.

Many of the feeders accept to have several bars at the same time waiting for the lathe to finish machining the current one, being able to work without the constant presence of an operator.

For example, if you are machining a piece 100 mm long and the bar you feed is 4 meters, which are the most common, and you can place 10 bars, the lathe will be working, if there is no problem, until the 400 pieces, and if each one takes 1 minute, the lathe will work only for 400 minutes, more than 6 and a half hours!

And you will say, because working so long, it can accumulate a lot of chips, because there is also a solution for that, since they have a chip and parts extractor included, so that each part goes to its destination separately.

This system, if it is not possible to make the part by stamping, as is the case with common screws, is the cheapest that exists.

Vertical lathe

The vertical lathe is a very rare variety. It is used in heavy industry since, due to its characteristic placement of the material, it allows us to work with much larger pieces than in a parallel lathe, for example, when all the weight goes on the table and is not suspended.

It has no other purpose since, on the other hand, they are very bulky and expensive machines. Of course the cost per hour of such a machine is very high, but since its market is very limited, you can find cheap second-hand vertical lathes, although surely with many hours of work on top due to the need for depreciation they have.