CNC Lathes are among the oldest and most versatile machining tools that have evolved and adapted effectively over the time. For this reason, they are still used in various industries. Mainly used for cutting and turning, they are also used for drilling, grinding, and facing. Today, the CNC lathe has become the industry standard for the manufacturing precision components and parts. Due to the popularity of CNC machining, it is advisable to use a CNC lathe that transforms the production processes. Are you curious to know more about it? What is the structure of the lathe? This post will answer that. So, stay tuned.
Parts of a lathe and their function
Below are the main parts of a lathe:
This part is clamped to the left end of the bed. Its function is to transmit the power to the various parts of the lathe. It contains the bearings that allow the workpiece to rotate against the cutting tool. It also houses the mechanism for changing the speed of rotation to achieve the different speeds.
It is a movable casting attached to the end of the lathe parallel to the headstock. Popularly known as a loosehead, it is used to install drill clamps for drilling the center holes to support the longer workpieces.
It is the horizontal structure of the lathe on which the casting for the tool holder and tailstock is fixed and moved as required. Almost all lathes consist of a bed, except CNC lathes. CNC lathes have a vertical beam to minimize the chip accumulation.
– Lead screw and feed rod:
The feed rod is a power transmission mechanism. It is used to precisely move the slide along the longitudinal axis of the machine. The lead screw is used to turn threads on a lathe. Not all lathes have a feed rod, in which case the lead screw is the responsible for both functions.
The slide is an important component located between the headstock and tailstock. This part of a lathe is responsible for supporting and guiding the tool against the workpiece throughout the process.
Other important components of the lathe include:
– The chuck:
Regardless of the length and shape, it holds the workpiece securely. This mechanical device is attached to a lathe by screws on the spindle nose. There are two types of chucks – 3-jaw or self-centering chuck and 4-jaw or independent chuck.
– Composite chuck:
It is designed to support the cutting tool and the tool holder in different positions. It is one of the most important components for turning angles and drilling the short tapers.
It is located on the lathe. Technically, it is a part of the slide. The saddle is available in an H-shape and is used to support the transverse movements of the slide.
– Main spindle:
It has a cylindrical shaft through which a longer workpiece can pass. It is responsible for holding the workpiece securely. This prevents the force of the tool from becoming overwhelming.
The legs support the overall weight of the lathe and transfer it to the surface. Therefore, it is important to secure them with the foundation bolt.
– Tool column:
It is located at the top of the slide. It is used to hold the several cutting tools or tool holders.
– Cross slide:
This component is clamped onto the slide so that the tool can slide back and forth.
These are the basics of CNC lathes. They are still used in most industries due to the advantageous features that have contributed to their popularity.
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