Axis Cnc

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Can a 4th-axis CNC mill essentially do CNC lathe turning?

I am a newb to the world of CNC machining so forgive my ignorance, but I want to know if a 4-axis CMC mill can essentially do the equivocal operations of a CNC lathe? What is confusing me is that the "4th-axis" is a rotary table head and tail stock that sits on the mill table, so does this mean then that you have the capability of turning operations with it? I mean aside from the fact that the tool bit of a lathe and the end mills of a vertical mill sit in different places relative to the stock, isn't the basic motion created by the rotary table identical to that of a lathe thus making turning operations at the least similar if not identical?

Yes, of course, if its set up to do it.

I am a Machininst by trade. I know about CNC, but I don't have much to do with them. I am running a manual machine shop, no CNCs in it.

But, you actually don't need the 4th axis to turn something like you would on a lathe.

Since the Z axis, the one coming down on the part is turning, you can make that turning bit turn in ways that turn the outside of a piece much the same way you would turn a piece in a lathe. The piece that your turning would need to be in a vise and mounted like any other piece, but the work could not be longer than the bit doing the work.

You can also have a collet holding system installed on the bed of the Mill horizontally with point rest on the other side to hold the other side of the piece in place that will turn a piece incrementally, index it. I don't know if that would be considered the 4th Axis though. Maybe the rotary Table could be considered the 4th Axis too. But, in either case, the piece would need to turn pretty fast to get the same effect as being on a lathe and turning.

You can do internal threading with a single point threading tool in a stationary piece. So that is in a reverse sort of way, using a Mill to do a threading job. Only the piece is stationary, but the bit is doing the work.

It would be a bit cumbersome though, but, yes, it can be done.

Don't worry about being a newbee. I started in the machining world over 30 years ago. It take years to really get good at it. Sometimes I wish I never got into it, but a guys got to do what a guys got to do:)

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