What Is CNC Turning?

April 22, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

CNC turning is a manufacturing process that uses computer-controlled machines to create parts from metal or plastic. The process begins by creating a 3D model of the desired part on a computer. This model is then used to generate a toolpath, which tells the CNC turning machine how to cut the part from a block of material. Once the machine is programmed, the operator can load a block of material and let the machine do its work.

Advantages of CNC Turning

CNC turning offers several advantages over traditional machining methods. Below are some of the benefits that CNC turning can provide:

  • Increased accuracy: Accuracy is key in manufacturing, and CNC machines are much more precise than manual methods. Because CNC machines are computer-controlled, each movement is perfectly coordinated. In addition, CNC machines can be programmed to repeat a certain sequence of movements repeatedly, ensuring that each part is identical.
  • Increased speed: CNC machines can work much faster than manual methods due to their computer-controlled nature. Parts can be produced quickly and efficiently. Also, since CNC machines can be programmed to repeat a certain sequence of movements, the operator does not need to stop and start the machine for each individual part.
  • Increased productivity: The increased speed and accuracy of CNC turning leads to increased productivity. This means that more parts can be produced in a shorter time, which is beneficial for both businesses and consumers.
  • Decreased waste: CNC machines are very efficient, meaning less waste material is produced. CNC machines can cut parts from a block of material with little to no waste. In addition, CNC machines can be programmed to use only the necessary amount of material, further reducing waste.

What Materials Can Be Machined Using CNC Turning Technology?

CNC turning can be used to machine various materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. Below are some of the most common materials that are machined using CNC technology:

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight metal that is often used in the manufacturing of aircraft and automotive parts. It is also used in the construction industry due to its corrosion-resistant properties.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is a type of steel that contains chromium, which gives it its corrosion-resistant properties. It is often used in the food and beverage industry and in the medical field.
  • Brass: Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It is often used in the manufacturing of musical instruments, as well as in plumbing and electrical applications.
  • Plastic: Plastic is a synthetic material that can be molded into a variety of shapes. It is often used in manufacturing consumer products, such as toys and electronics.

What Industries Use CNC Turning?

CNC turning is used in various industries, including the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries. Below are some examples of how CNC turning is used in each industry:

  • Automotive: CNC turning is used in the automotive industry to create a variety of parts, including engine blocks and cylinder heads.
  • Aerospace: CNC turning is used in the aerospace industry to create parts for aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Medical: CNC turning is used to create implants and prosthetics in the medical industry.


The CNC turning process offers many advantages over traditional machining methods to machine a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. If you need precision machined parts, N.W. Metal Fabricators, Inc. can help. We offer CNC turning services that can meet your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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