CNC Turning Overview
With access to a network of over 5,000 shops including those with CNC lathes and turning centers, Xometry provides you with the capacity and capabilities your project needs, while also delivering the most competitive pricing and lead times. Xometry's machine learning-trained technology platform also provides instant manufacturability feedback to ensure that your part is optimized for the CNC turning process and fits the requirements you need. Our on-demand manufacturing platform can deliver high-quality metal or plastic turned parts for rapid prototyping or low-to-high volume production runs. Get an instant quote from your 3D CAD file today.
Xometry CNC Materials
EPT Copper C110,
Alloy Steel 4130,
Titanium Grade 2,
Zinc Sheet Alloy 500
Additional alloys and tempers are available upon request. We can source to your project specifications. Review more information about our materials here.
Custom Sourced Materials
A variety of CNC turned metal and plastic part options are available for an instant online quote. If you do not see the material stock you are looking for, please choose "Custom" under the material drop-down on your quote page and submit for an expert engineering review once you have specified features, tolerances, inspection needs, and quantities required.
The finish option with the quickest turnaround. Parts are left with visible tool marks and potentially sharp edges and burrs, which can be removed upon request. Surface finish is comparable to 125 uin Ra finish.
The part surface is left with a smooth, matte appearance.
Type II creates a corrosion-resistant finish. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and gold are most common—and is usually associated with aluminum.Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II.
This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.
Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ and we’ll look into a finishing process for you.
Ready to get started on your CNC turning quote?
Applications of CNC Turning
Because CNC can be applied to virtually any material, it is perfect for rapid tooling, i.e., creating fixtures or molds.
The range of materials available, low cost per unit, and speed of production makes CNC a great option for prototyping.
High-quality finish, vast material options, and precise tolerances have made CNC lathe turning a favorable technology for serial production parts.
Using the latest CNC machines, Xometry produces highly accurate, quick turn parts in as fast as 1 day.
Select from a variety of finishes on solid metal and plastic parts, built to precise design specifications.
Choose from over 50 metal and plastic materials. CNC Machining offers a wide variety of certified materials.
Offers high-precision tolerances ranging from +/-0.001″ – 0.005″, depending on customer specs.
CNC Machining is perfect for production of 1-10,000 parts.
CNC General Tolearances
For features of size (Length, width, height, diameter) and location (position, concentricity, symmetry) +/- 0.005”.
Orientation and Form Dimensions
0-12" +/- 0.005", Angularity 1/2 degree. For 24" and beyond please consult Xometry's Manufacturing Standards.
Sharp edges will be broken and deburred by default. Critical edges that must be left sharp should be noted and specified on a print.
Please check out Xometry's Manufacturing Standards for more information on tolerances per process. Unless we have agreed to other tolerances in your Quote, we will work to achieve and hold the tolerances noted.
Overview: What is CNC Turning?
The Basics Of CNC Lathes
CNC lathe machines, also called live tooling lathes, are ideal for cutting any symmetrical cylindrical or spherical parts. Characteristically, a lathe spins a workpiece on a vertical or horizontal axis, while a fixed shaping instrument moves around it on a more or less linear path. The act of cutting a workpiece on a CNC lathe is called turning.
How CNC Turning Works
CNC lathes use a subtractive method to create the desired shape. With the G-Code created, a blank bar of stock material is loaded into the chuck of the lathe's spindle. The chuck holds the workpiece in place while the spindle spins. When the spindle is up to speed, a stationary cutting tool is brought into contact with the workpiece to remove material until the desired geometry is achieved.
There are many operations that can be performed on a live tooling lathe, including facing, threading, knurling, drilling, boring, reaming, and taper turning. Different operations require tool changes and can increase cost and set-up time.
When all machining operations are completed, the part is cut from the stock for further post-processing. The CNC lathe is then ready to repeat the operation with little-to-no set-up time in between.
Types Of CNC Lathes
There are many types of lathes, but the most common are 2-axis CNC lathes and Swiss-type lathes. Swiss-type lathes are unique in that stock material is fed through a guide bushing, allowing the tool to cut nearer to the point of support, which makes them particularly useful for long, slender turned parts and micromachining. Some Swiss-type lathes also come equipped with a second tool head that operates as a CNC mill, allowing them to perform multiple machining operations without having to move the workpiece to a different machine. This makes Swiss-type lathes extremely cost-effective for complex turned parts.
Benefits Of CNC Turning
Like CNC mills, CNC lathes can be easily set up for high repeatability, which makes them great for everything from rapid prototyping to low and high-volume production. Multi-axis CNC turning centers and Swiss-type lathes allow for multiple machining operations in one machine. making them a cost-effective option for complex geometries that would otherwise require multiple machines or tool changes in a traditional CNC mill.