Creating Toolpaths for a CNC Lathe

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CNC machines come in an almost endless array of configurations for various applications. So far, we have only talked about CNC Mills. More specifically vertical milling centers. In this course we turn our attention to the CNC Lathe. We identify the difference in a lathe’s coordinate system, tools, and how to create lathe specific toolpaths.

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Setting up and Cutting a Profile
-In Week 1, we’ll learn how to set up a CNC Lathe coordinate system, stock, and begin cutting some basic geometry. The fundamental difference in how a lathe coordinate system is set and how the stock is held are critical to the success of turning toolpaths. Once we understand these concepts, we can begin exploring more complicated geometry.

Internal and External Grooving Toolpaths
-In Week 2, we’ll dive in deeper to turning toolpath functionality by exploring internal and external grooving. With Fusion 360 we can identify and cut a single position groove as well as handle roughing and finishing multiple grooves in multiple orientations. So, let’s take a look at grooving toolpaths in Fusion 360.

Threading and Chamfering for Turning
-In Week 3, we’ll turn our attention to more finishing toolpaths to break edges and create threads. There are a few different ways to create threads on turned parts and we’ll start by looking at cutting external threads, tapping internal threads along the axis of revolution, as well as identifying live turning tools to drill and tap on a C-axis.

CNC Lathe Stock Handling
-In Week 4, we’ll learn more about various options that CNC Lathes can have. We’ll learn about parting to cut geometry away from the stock as well as some various options for stock transfer using multiple chucks. CNC lathes often can move another chuck in to grab the part, cut it away from stock, and then machine the back side. This advanced functionality is supported in Fusion 360 so let’s learn how to use it.