CNC Lathe

@vicious1 Any interest in designing a CNC Wood Lathe? It wood obviously take a lot of designing, but it wood be an awesome additional to the MPCNC family.

Just a thought.

Bill has toyed with that idea more than I have. I am very hesitant to mess with the forces generated when you spin something that fast. If anything, maybe work on just a rotational axis for the current CNC’s.


check this out

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This is exactly what I had in mind. However, instead of a router, woodnt it be better to have some sort of rigid non-rotating cutting edge that moves along the workpiece. In terms of a long term design anyway. Or maybe the spindle wood be good to drill through holes through the workpiece as well. There’s a lot of interesting things to run with on the lathe idea.

I think that adding a 4th axis to the current MPCNC would be more useful. Not only could you coax the design to create and size round parts, but you can also add non-round features to them (think gear teeth), you get orientation control, and you dont have to worry about workpieces flying off and killing you.

Cycle times would be a little longer, but implementation would be easier, and the resulting machine would be safer and in some cases, MORE capable.

Poor man’s 4th axis:

Ps: MANY great cnc plans at this site as well.

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IDK, I think the rotating tool seems like it has more room for errors. You can’t control the pressure like a manual wood lathe and you would not be using metal like a metal lathe. If the tool bites on a wood grain, the spinny bit can chew through it.

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In addition to Jeff’s comments above, you could spin the workpiece significantly slower (thus making it safer) with a spinning tool vs a static tool.

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Yeah thats definitely a significant factor. I do like safety. Another major difference is the process time. A spindle and slow turn operation would be slower.

There are two directions you can go here.
The fourth axis model has the Y axis used to drive the rotator, which makes tubes look to the CAM as if they were unrolled. That’s great for cutting inlays into a shaft, so something like a cane or pool cue. The router moves up and down and along the X axis to determine depth of cut and position on the shaft.
The CNC Lathe has a small Y axis, a long X axis and pretty much no Z axis. The router is positioned so the center of the cutting bit is in the centerline of the object being cut and the Y axis movements move the spinning bit sideways into the wood. You have a separate motor spinning the piece while the router moves along the length and moves in closer to the centerline and farther away to cut the piece. Ideally you would also have the option of rotating the router to cut into the end of the piece, for cutting a bowl shape instead of a table leg, but it’s about as easy to just cut the bowl with a normal carve on a stock MPCNC.