CNC Turning Machine Cutting Parameters

February 6, 2015


The cutting tools on CNC turning machines have different parameters that can be modified for different operations. The purpose of modifying these parameters is to produce a precise output based on the specifications of the work piece.

Cutting speed
This parameter is measured by surface feet per minute (SFM), measuring the number of feet that the tool passes over the surface of the work piece per minute. It assumes sharp tools and flood coolant in the standard cutting speed. The cutting speed varies depending on the material and it also depends on the tooling process. Some processes, like threading, may need a slower setting for precise results.

Cutting feed
This is measured in inches per revolution (IPR). It measures the distance of the cutting tool or work piece progress with every revolution of the spindle. There are operations where the cutting tool is fed into the work piece, while there are other operations where the work piece is being fed into the cutting tool.

Feed rate
The feed rate is measured by inches per minute and is the speed of the movement of the cutting tool as it cuts through the work piece. It is the product of the cutting speed and spindle speed combined.

Spindle speed
This parameter is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and it measures the rotational speed of the spindle. When the cutting speed is divided by the circumference of the work piece, the result is the spindle speed. The spindle speed varies depending on the diameter of the cut. If it is varied, the cutting speed may be held constant. If the cutting speed is varied, the spindle can maintain a constant speed.

Axial depth of cut
Measuring the depth of the tool as it cuts towards the axis of a work piece, large axial depths usually require low feed rates to maintain the quality of the cutting tool. Certain work piece details may need several passes for a specified axial depth of cut.

Radial depth of cut
This parameter measures the depth of the cutting tool as it cuts along the radius of a work piece. It also requires a low feed rate to prolong the quality of the cutting tool. Some work piece features may need several steps from the cutting tool in order to attain the specific radial depth of cut.


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