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Three Major Processes Of CNC Machining : Turning, Tapping , Cutting

Three Major Processes Of CNC Machining : Turning, Tapping , Cutting

CNC machining stands as a pinnacle in modern manufacturing, offering precision and efficiency in the production of complex components. Understanding these processes is essential for manufacturers seeking to harness the full potential of CNC machining for their projects.

CNC Turning: Definition and Machinery Used

CNC turning is a subtractive manufacturing process that involves the rotation of a workpiece while a cutting tool removes material to create a cylindrical shape. The primary machine tool used for CNC turning is the lathe. Lathes equipped with computer numerical control (CNC) allow for precise control over the cutting process, enabling the creation of intricate and accurate components.

Key Components of CNC Turning

In CNC turning, several key components work together seamlessly to produce precise results:

WorkpieceMaterial being shaped and machined
ChuckHolds and rotates the workpiece
Cutting ToolRemoves material to shape the workpiece
TailstockSupports the other end of the workpiece
CNC ControllerManages the movement and operation of the lathe

Tapping in CNC Machining: Definition and Importance

Tapping is a CNC machining process focused on creating internal threads within a pre-drilled hole. This process is crucial for components requiring threaded features, such as nuts, bolts, and other fasteners. CNC tapping ensures precision and consistency in thread creation, a task that is challenging to achieve manually.

2. CNC Tapping Tools and Techniques

  • Tap : The tool that cuts and forms the internal threads.
  • Tapping Oil : Lubricates the tap, reducing friction and heat.
  • Tap Holder : Securely holds the tap in place during the machining process.
  • Depth Gauge : Ensures accurate control of thread depth.

3. Considerations for CNC Tapping

  • Speed and Feed Rates : Adjustments must be made based on material type and tap size.
  • Coolant Usage : Proper coolant application helps dissipate heat generated during tapping.
  • Thread Depth Control : Precise control ensures compatibility with mating components.

CNC Cutting: Carving Precision in Materials

1. Overview of CNC Cutting

CNC cutting is a versatile machining process where material is removed from a workpiece to achieve the desired shape. This process encompasses various cutting techniques, such as milling, drilling, and routing. CNC cutting allows for intricate designs and shapes, making it indispensable in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive.

2. Tools and Techniques in CNC Cutting

CNC Cutting Techniques: A Comprehensive List

  1. Milling : Involves rotary cutting tools to remove material, creating flat or curved surfaces.
  2. Drilling : Creates holes using rotating drill bits.
  3. Routing : Utilizes a rotating cutter to hollow out specific areas of a workpiece.
  4. Engraving : Achieves detailed designs and patterns on the surface of materials.
Cutting ToolFunction
End MillCuts on the tip and sides, ideal for milling
Drill BitRotates to create holes
Router BitHollows out areas in a workpiece
Engraving BitProduces intricate designs on the material surface

Integrating CNC Turning, Tapping, and Cutting

1. Sequential Workflow

To create a finished component using CNC machining, the integration of turning, tapping, and cutting is often a sequential process. The workflow typically involves CNC turning to shape the primary structure, CNC tapping to add threaded features, and CNC cutting to achieve the final form.

2. Material Considerations

Different materials pose distinct challenges and considerations in CNC machining. The selection of appropriate cutting speeds, feeds, and tooling is crucial for achieving optimal results. For example, CNC turning of metals may require different tool materials and speeds than CNC cutting of plastics.

Advancements in CNC Machining

CNC machining continues to evolve with technological advancements, leading to increased precision, efficiency, and versatility. Innovations such as multi-axis machining and adaptive control systems enhance the capabilities of CNC machines, allowing for more complex and intricate designs.


In conclusion, CNC machining encompasses a spectrum of processes, each playing a vital role in the creation of precision components. CNC turning, tapping, and cutting, when integrated seamlessly, provide manufacturers with the tools needed to produce intricate and accurate parts. By understanding the nuances of each process and their respective tools, manufacturers can harness the full potential of CNC machining, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in modern manufacturing.