CNC Product Reviews & Testimonials

Here are just a few examples of what our satisfied customers are saying about our CNC Milling products. These are REAL PICS from REAL CUSTOMERS who have generously gone out of their way to take and send to us to show what they are machining with their CNC MASTERS Milling Machine.

Notable Differences Between CNC Turning and CNC Milling

Milling and turning are everyday operations in a machine shop. Both techniques use a cutting tool to remove material from a solid block to make 3D parts. Removing material is what classifies them as subtractive manufacturing processes, but there are key differences to these operations.

Turning is an operation for a lathe.

The name ‘turning’ refers to the workpiece because it rotates about a central axis. The cutting tool remains stationary and is moved in and out of the workpiece to make cuts. Turning is used to create cylindrical parts and derivatives of cylinders; think of parts shaped like baseball bats, shafts, balusters and columns, for example.

A chuck holds the workpiece centered on a rotating spindle. A base secures the cutting tool so it can move along the axis of the workpiece and in or out radially. Feeds and speeds come from the rate of rotation of the part, the radial depth of cut and the rate the tool moves along the axis of the piece.

Turning operations include OD and ID cutting and grooving, boring, treading and drilling. Since the cutting tool exerts a force on the workpiece perpendicular to its axis, it is crucial to support the piece to reduce deflection.

In milling operations, on the other hand, the cutting tool rotates while the workpiece is fastened securely to a worktable.

The cutting tool or the table can move orthogonally in the X, Y or Z direction for cutting. Milling can create more complex shapes than turning. It can even produce cylindrical shapes, but for cost effectiveness, those shapes are best left to a lathe.

In a CNC mill, a chuck holds the tool in a rotating spindle. The tool is moved relative to the workpiece to create patterns on the surface of the workpiece. Feeds and speeds are calculated based on the rate of rotation of the cutting tool, the cutting tool diameter and number of flutes, the depth of the cut and the rate the cutting tool moves across the part.

The limitation of milling pertains to whether or not a tool can access a cutting surface. Using longer and thinner tools can improve access, but these tools can deflect, causing poor machining tolerances, bad surface finishes and more wear and tear on the tool. Some advanced milling machines have articulating heads to allow for angular cuts and improved access.

Both turning and milling operations are useful for creating complex parts. The primary difference will be in the shape of the final part. For cylindrical parts, go with turning. For most other parts, milling works best.

An Introduction to Modern CNC Lathes

cnc lathe experts

The basic idea of the lathe—a tool that combines rotation and cutting to smooth and shape materials—is thousands of years old. There is even evidence that the Romans and other ancient cultures used lathes as far back as the third century BC. Modern lathes, including computer numerical controlled lathes, or CNC lathes, bring new power and impressive versatility to these ancient and time-honored shaping tools.

Lathe Basics

A lathe spins a piece of raw material along one axis, either vertical or horizontal, while cutting tools or other implements are used to shape it. The earliest versions required two operators—one to turn the lathe and another to work with the material. The development of foot-powered wheels and water wheels were a big step forward because they allowed a single person to both turn the lathe and shape the material. When motorized lathes that used electricity came along, they brought a whole new level of power—and possibility—to this age-old tool.

Lathes can be tiny, such as the handheld versions used by jewelers and watchmakers, or enormous industrial machines that take up entire rooms. Wood and metal are common materials worked by lathes, although glass and other materials can be shaped by a lathe as well. Lathes also take advantage of modern automation, especially in industrial production processes.

CNC lathes are computerized versions that can create highly detailed work.

Designs for finished pieces are developed using CAD software, which analyzes the piece and creates a set of detailed instructions for the computerized lathe to follow. This is hugely beneficial when a large number of items need to be made to exact specifications, or when the design is especially complex and detailed. CNC automation also saves time during many manufacturing processes, especially as part of a larger automated system.

What Do Lathes Make?

Lathes are useful for making all kinds of products and parts, particularly anything that is shaped as a cylinder or sphere. They can create furniture pieces, such as table legs and chair backs, baseball and softball bats, wooden or metal pen bodies, decorative bowls and cups, lamps, chess pieces and more. Industrial lathes make parts for cars such as brake drums, and when you have your brake rotors machined, that’s also done on a lathe. Replacement parts for machines and engines can be lathed, especially with a combination of other tools. Whether they’re being used by a hobbyist or a professional as part of a small workshop or large metal shop, today’s lathes are powerful tools that find a wide range of uses in the hands of skilled operators and craftsmen.

The 1440 CNC Lathe: Built for the Modern Machinist the invention of computer numerical controlled lathes such as the CNC Masters 1440 Lathe, machinists needed a lot of skill and patience because everything was done by hand. The process was tedious and required great stamina. Because the operation was entirely manual, it was also much more prone to errors.

Coupling lathes with computers eliminated these issues that put tremendous stress on early machinists. The current generation of lathe operators can rely on sophisticated computer control systems to accomplish complex tasks quickly and reliably.

But the 1440 CNC Lathe’s ease of use is not its only notable feature.

For machinists who want to do short runs without writing a CNC program, the 1440 Lathe can quickly swap between CNC and manual mode at the flip of a switch. This allows machinists to maintain complete control over their turning projects and make subtle design changes on the fly. With a 3 horsepower main spindle motor, the 1440 is also powerful enough to accomplish a variety of turning tasks.

The 1440 CNC Lathe also comes equipped with our own CNC Master MX Software.

This software offers an intuitive interface and a host of features that make it easy to design and execute turning projects of all shapes and sizes. You can even try our Master MX demo to get a feel for the software before you put it to work with your CNC lathe.

Interested in learning more about the 1440 Lathe or any of the other machines we offer at CNC Masters? Give us a call or contact us online today to speak with a representative!