Tooling Types – Turning
There are many different types of tooling, the most common being work holding tools. Work holding tools include jigs and fixtures; cutting tools for milling and grinding machines; dies for cold forming, forging and extrusion machines; and welding and inspection fixtures. In this month’s blog, we are going to look at turning.
Turning is a machining process in which a cutting tool, typically a non-rotary tool bit, describes a helix toolpath by moving more or less linearly while the workpiece rotates. Turning is a form of machining, a material removal process, which is used to create rotational parts by cutting away unwanted material. The turning process requires a turning machine or lathe, workpiece, fixture, and cutting tool.
Turning is used to create rotational parts by cutting away unwanted material. The workpiece is a piece of pre-shaped material that is secured to the fixture, which itself is attached to the turning machine, and allowed to rotate at high speeds. The cutter is typically a single-point cutting tool that is also secured in the machine, although some operations make use of multi-point tools. The cutting tool feeds into the rotating workpiece and cuts away material in the form of small chips to create the desired shape.
Turning is used to produce rotational, typically axi-symmetric, parts that have many features. Features would include holes, grooves, threads, tapers, various diameter steps, and even contoured surfaces. Parts that are fabricated completely through turning often include components that are used in limited quantities, such as custom designed shafts and fasteners.
Turning is also commonly used as a secondary process to add or refine features on parts that were manufactured using a different process. Due to the high tolerances and surface finishes that turning can offer, it is ideal for adding precision rotational features to a part whose basic shape has already been formed.
The quality of a finished part depends on the precision and characteristics of the tooling. Its’ properties, the speed and accuracy with which it can be produced and the repeatability of manufacture in high volume production runs, all depend on the precision and characteristics of the tooling. So, for the best parts, tooling needs to be designed and engineered to the highest quality.