CNC Turning

APM's Colorado machine shop offers an array of CNC turning services utilizing cutting-edge lathe technology operated by highly skilled CNC machinists to deliver quality parts, on-time and on-budget.

When turning a desired material, it is rotated and a cutting tool is traversed along two axes of motion to produce precise diameters and depths. CNC turning can be either on the outside of the cylinder or on the inside (also known as boring) to produce tubular components to various geometries.

The turning processes are typically carried out on a lathe, considered to be the oldest machining tool. The various processes of turning can produce vast shapes of materials such as straight, conical, curved, or grooved. In general, turning uses simple single-point cutting tools.


For additional information about turning, we invite you to read the below information or contact one of our certified CNC turning experts.






Turning Operations



  • Turning: The most basic machining process. A part is rotated while a single-point cutting tool is moved along the axis of rotation.

  • Hard turning: Similar to rough grinding; a part is has a high hardness rating and must be heated prior to turning.

  • Facing: Involves moving the cutting tool at right angles to the axis of rotation.

  • Parting: A process used to create deep grooves which will remove a completed component from its parent stock.

  • Grooving: Grooves are cut to a specific depth by a form tool.

  • Boring: The machining of internal cylindrical forms.

  • Drilling: Used to remove material from the inside of a workpiece.

  • Threading: Screw heads can be turned using an appropriate cutting tool.



Types of Mills:


  • Knee mill
  • Bed mill
  • Box mill or column mill
  • C-Frame mill
  • Gantry mill

Knee mill or knee-and-column mill refers to any milling machine whose x-y table rides up and down the column on a vertically adjustable knee. This includes Bridgeports.


This refers to any milling machine where the spindle is on a pendant that moves up and down to move the cutter into the work. These are generally more rigid than a knee mill.


Basic hobbyist bench-mounted milling machines that feature a head riding up and down on a column or box way.


These are larger, industrial production mills. They feature a knee and fixed spindle head that is only mobile vertically. They are typically much more powerful than a turret mill, featuring a separate hydraulic motor for integral hydraulic power feeds in all directions, and a twenty to fifty horsepower motor. Backlash eliminators are almost always standard equipment. They use large NMTB 40 or 50 tooling. The tables on C-frame mills are usually 18″ by 68″ or larger, to allow multiple parts to be machined at the same time.


The milling head rides over two rails (often steel tubes) which lie at each side of the work surface.


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