CNC Turning (Lathe)

At a Glance

Lifecycle

Lead Time

Materials

Tolerance

Visual models (DVT), Fit/feature validation (EVT)
3 days
With drawing: +/- 0.025 mm
No drawing: ISO 2768 medium

About the Process

For cylindrical parts such as pins, shafts, and spacers, or parts with general rotational symmetry, ‘turning’ them on a lathe is usually the simplest and most cost effective choice. Contrary to a mill, a lathe operates by fixturing cylindrical stock, called a rod, into a rotating chuck jaw on the machine. As this chuck rotates at a high RPM, so does the stock, and a fixed-orientation tool then translates along and across the stock to cut part features.

A CNC lathe equipped with live-tooling has all the capabilities of a standard lathe, but instead of relying solely on stationary tools, it can have rotating cutters such as drills or endmills, allowing for greater machining freedom and the introduction of asymmetrical features into the part without additional fixturing setups.

Machines

The Fictiv network connects hundreds of highly vetted machinists across the country. This gives engineers streamlined access to a wide range of 50+ models of CNC Lathe machines, including:

Haas ST-30SSY (live tooling)

Akira Seiki SL-30

Doosan LYNX 300

Max Part Size [d, l]
318 x 584 mm
12.5 x 23 in
635 x 864 mm
25 x 24 in
450 x 765 mm
17.7 x 30.1 mm
Spindle Speed
4500 rpms
4,500 rpms
3,500 rpms
Tools
24-station turret
12-station turret
12-station turret

Additional Machine Information:

Haas ST-30SSY (live tooling)
Akira Seiki SL-30
Doosan LYNX 300
Okuma Genos L400

Materials

Plastics

ABS

ABS is a versatile and rigid material, good for impact-resistant applications.

Delrin (150)

Good for high-strength/high-rigidity applications such as gears, bushings.

Nylon

Good for general purpose parts and wear & heat-resistant applications.

Polycarbonate

Great for light pipes, transparent parts, and heat-resistant applications.

Polypropylene

A hard plastic with good chemical resistance and electrical insulation properties that is commonly used in laboratories and for containers.

PTFE (Teflon)

A very slippery plastic used in low friction applications such as bearings.

UHMW

This plastic offers excellent impact strength, and due to its slippery surface will resist wear and abrasion.

Metals

Aluminum

Light, machinable & economic, good from prototyping to production.

Brass

Brass 360 is strong, machinable, tough, conductive, non-magnetic, and corrosion resistant.

Copper

Offers excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. Available in 110 and 101 Alloys.

Stainless Steel

Good for industrial applications, fittings, fasteners, cookware, medical devices.

Steel

Available in 1018 Carbon Steel or 4140 Alloy Steel.

Minimum/Maximum Part Size

We accept the following minimum and maximum part sizes:

Diameter
Length
Min
1.6 mm (1/16”)
3.2 mm (0.126”)
Max
152 mm (6”)
304 mm (12”)

Feature Design Recommendations

Hole size

We can drill holes as small as 0.5mm (0.020") in diameter.

Hole depth

Our maximum drillable hole depth is 12x drill bit diameter.

Feature length

We support features with lengths up to 5x their diameters.

Groove size

Internal and external grooves must be at least 0.4 mm (0.016") wide.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

Related Resources

Engineer's Guide to CNC Machining for Prototyping Hardware
Best Design Practices for CNC Machining