A lathe machine is a cutting tool that remains stationary while the material it cuts rotates. Some of these machines have computer numerical controls (CNC) with which operators can program the cutting operations. CNC lathe operators must know about various material types, basic shop math, computer programming, how to read a blueprint, and the basic set-up of lathe machines.
On-the-Job CNC Lathe Training
Many manufacturing plants have in-house training programs for employees who display the mechanical aptitude required to operate a CNC lathe. Most CNC machinists begin their careers as machine operators.
College and Technical Trade Schools
CNC lathe training can be obtained at many junior colleges and technical trade schools. An associate degree in machining technology is available from some of these institutions.
Online Training Programs
Online CNC lathe training is available to those who wish to learn at home. Some manufacturing facilities use online training and/or video training for new employees.
Apprenticeship and Internship Programs
Training can be found through company apprenticeship or internship programs, which may or may not be paid positions. Most training programs teach manual machining techniques before moving on to CNC operations.
Understanding the Fundamentals
Understanding the fundamentals to machining is critical to learning the necessary elements to operating a CNC lathe. Operating a CNC lathe is more than just pushing the right button. You must be able to identify from a blueprint the necessary steps to machine a product with precision accuracy.
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