Mini CNC lathes are computer numerically-controlled machines that perform various operations such as turning, cutting, and drilling on materials like wood and metals. A spindle holds the workpiece in position and rotates it as the cutting tool applies different operations to the workpiece.
About the material of mini CNC lathes
Wood is comparatively softer than metals, and therefore, a mini wood lathe can have relatively low torque and rigidity than mini metal lathes. Turning metals requires high precision and low levels of tolerances. For example, industrial-grade CNC lathe machines can create parts that have a tolerance of ±0.00005. Hence a micro CNC lathe for turning machinable metals needs to be constructed from rigid parts, making them heavy for operation without interrupting the work.
About the RPM of mini CNC lathes
The power of the spindle motor and the RPM of the spindle determine the types of materials users can use. It also decides the type of work users can do, like turning or screw-cutting. Some lathe machines work at a single speed, and some have a variable speed range. The ability to cut large, heavy workpieces smoothly depends on the torque. In most situations, turning wood typically requires 2000 RPM and has low power demands. Whereas in the case of metals, higher RPMs are required to maintain optimal cutting speeds, but then again, for those who want to cut threads on a metal workpiece, a mini lathe machine with good torque at low RPM is a good choice.
About the Cycle Time of mini CNC lathes
Cycle time refers to the time taken by the CNC lathe to finish work on one product. CNC desktop lathes with more axes have lower cycling time and are more efficient. However, they cost more, and their complexity increases, making it difficult to troubleshoot for users. In an industrial setup where the number of workpieces is more, it is better to have a miniature CNC lathe with a lower cycle time. For a personal workshop where the production frequency is low, the cycle time factor may not play a significant role.