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CNC Turning

Creating prototypes from technical designs using a computer controlled lathe that cuts to ultra-fine specifications.

Why is this skill important?

CNC Machining has become one of the most important current machining processes in modern industry. Parts are made for household-equipment, telecommunications, cars, ships, aeroplanes, oil rigs, bridges, aerospace etc. Customers come from virtually every sector.

In CNC Machining the movements of the machine through computers and servomotors are dictated by the programmer. Once correctly programmed and set up, these machines can produce almost any shape and can repeat the process many times. This offers great advantages for quality and efficiency.

CNC Machining covers a broad variety of machining processes, such as grinding, welding, electrical discharging, milling and also turning.

Some may think that lathes (turning machines) are built to make round parts; however, CNC lathes are capable of producing almost any shape and any part.

Every customer has different requirements and demands and therefore each part is made of different materials, and needs different geometries, dimensions and surface qualities. To explain all the desired requirements to the machinist, the customer produces a technical drawing.

Machining starts with deciding how best to produce the part. There are many ways of doing this, like welding, milling, casting, and 3D Printing. One very important method is CNC Turning.

A CNC lathe is a very accurate computer-driven machine, where cutting tools, controlled by a program, are moved to cut away excessive material to result in the expected customer part. The CNC Turning machinist receives the technical drawing and uses the lathe in many ways to find solutions to build the part. These machines are very expensive, because they can do remarkable things. To have an idea of this, think what it means to achieve accuracy below ten microns, which is six to10 times thinner than a human hair.

The CNC Turning machinist uses a computer to tell the lathe how to move the tools and cut the part to the desired shape. They must also set up the lathe with all the necessary clamping devices, support devices, and cutting tools. These tools can cut almost every material (stainless steel, plastic, soft steel, aluminium, bronze, and so on). But the machinist has to choose well to avoid temperature variations, tool wear or vibration. Those factors influence the product and it can result in poor quality.

When the machine starts cutting material, the machinist makes sure that the dimensions exactly fit the customer specifications. For this, very accurate inspection tools are used. Once the machine is set up, the CNC-Turning machinist also monitors and optimizes the processes, to achieve even faster and better results for all the following parts.


Leonberg, Germany

10—15 October 2022

Skill Sponsors


Hanan Alshamsi
United Arab Emirates

Shivaya Balakisten
South Africa

Bun Long Chan

Kevin Emhofer

Ochbaatar Gankhuu

Hannu Helve

Alexander Johnsson

Fabian Leuenberger

Maxwell Melling

Satyaranjan Mohanty

Sander Hem Münchow

Natthawut Phetngam

Christian Armando Rodriguez Montezco

Merle Ruffing


Minjun Shin

Hayato Shiozawa

Ilsur Tukaev

Chinese Taipei

Hongyu Wu

Nguyen Xuan Thai