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HomeCNC LatheIntroduction to CNC Lathe Programming

Introduction to CNC Lathe Programming


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Whether you are just getting started with CNC lathe programming or need a refresher, this video covers all the basics. Join us as we attend a class at Meridian Community College.

Brian Warren, division chair of industrial technology at Meridian Community College, allowed us to attend one of his classes at the Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center. During this session about CNC lathe programming, Brian explained some of the main concepts, gave an overview of the most important G-codes and shows an example of how to program a single part.
Here’s what you’ll learn during the session:

0:00 Introduction to CNC tool room lathe programming
5:36 Lathe specific G-codes and information
6:39 G50 – Spindle speed clamp
7:28 G96 and G97 – Constant surface speed on/off
10:46 G70 and G71 – Finish turning and rough turning canned cycles
12:52 U and W incremental values
13:09 G1, G2, & G3
13:43 Common alarms
16:10 Program example from Haas manual
23:35 Programming exercise

Did you find this class insightful? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe.

This video is part of our new video series: ” LEARNING FROM THE PROS”!
We are collaborating with educators from the most advanced technical schools around the country to provide you with tips and tricks, educational videos, and machining technology insights that will help you become a better machinist and learn something new about our beloved metalworking trade.

This project is part of the Meridian Community College’s program.

To learn more about the precision machining engineering technology program at Meridian Community College and their Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center visit https://meridiancc.edu/programs/career_and_technical_programs/division_of_industrial_technology/precision_machining/index.html


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  1. At least count by tens or hundreds sequentially for your N Blocks. That way you can add N105 between N110 and N120 if you need to later. If you go by ones, (N1 N2 N3), you will have to edit EVERY line in the program. It matters a lot if you ever use conditional macro statements (or GOTOs) to skip around in a program. No matter what, it will always be save you trouble to count by at least tens for your Ns.

  2. I would always set your Z zero behind where you face off manually, it will ensure that your tool pressure doesn't make your part too short or that other features behind the face come in to the correct depth. Not essential, but it is good practice in production, and will give a good surface finish on the face.
    (Edit: IF you can spare another few thousandths on your length)

  3. You calculated the chamfer wrong. For a 45 degree angle you double the value for x. If you wanted to cut a .03 chamfer on a 1.00 diameter, the program should read G0 X.94 Z.1; G1 Z0 F.01; G1 X1.0 Z-.03; and then on through the other coordinates. Same concept with radii. G0 X.94 Z.1; G1 Z0. F.01; G3 X1.0 Z-.03 R.03;…

  4. Thank you sir. I spent about 90% of my 20 years Machining on Mills. My current employer wants me to learn to program the lathe department since I am already doing the Mills. This was a great video to listen to while I can't actually put eyes on while working in the mill Department

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