CNC Lathe Training

Written by geraldine fischer
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CNC Lathe Training
CNC lathe trainees learn to check programs. (Lathe Turning Stainless Steel image by Stana from

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.

CNC Lathe Training
Training requires attention to detail. (lathe image by Tomasz Plawski from

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.

CNC Lathe Training
Students can learn CNC programming in some schools. (Lathe Turning Stainless Steel image by Stana from

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.

CNC Lathe Training
Most CNC machinists begin as machine operators. (Lathe Turning Stainless Steel image by Stana from

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.

CNC Lathe Training
CNC lathe students are instructed on how to set up the machines. (Lathe Turning Stainless Steel image by Stana from

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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