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Creating Toolpaths for a CNC Lathe

Autodesk via Coursera


CNC machines come in an almost endless array of configurations for various applications. So far, we have only talked about CNC Mills. More specifically vertical milling centers. In this course we turn our attention to the CNC Lathe. We identify the difference in a lathe’s coordinate system, tools, and how to create lathe specific toolpaths. Want to take your learning to the next level? Complete the Autodesk CAD/CAM for Manufacturing Specialization, and you’ll unlock an additional Autodesk Credential as further recognition of your success! The Autodesk Credential comes with a digital badge and certificate, which you can add to your resume and share on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Sharing your Autodesk Credential can signal to hiring managers that you’ve got the right skills for the job and you’re up on the latest industry trends like generative design. Enroll in the Specialization here: Looking for Autodesk Fusion 360 certification prep courses? Check out additional learning resources to help you uplevel your skills:


  • Set up and cut a profile
    • In Week 1, we’ll learn how to set up a CNC Lathe coordinate system, stock, and begin cutting some basic geometry. The fundamental difference in how a lathe coordinate system is set and how the stock is held are critical to the success of turning toolpaths. Once we understand these concepts, we can begin exploring more complicated geometry.
  • Internal and external grooving toolpaths
    • In Week 2, we’ll dive in deeper to turning toolpath functionality by exploring internal and external grooving. With Fusion 360 we can identify and cut a single position groove as well as handle roughing and finishing multiple grooves in multiple orientations. So, let’s take a look at grooving toolpaths in Fusion 360.
  • Threading, chamfering and C-Axis operations for turning
    • In Week 3, we’ll turn our attention to more finishing toolpaths to break edges and create threads. There are a few different ways to create threads on turned parts and we’ll start by looking at cutting external threads, tapping internal threads along the axis of revolution, as well as identifying live turning tools to drill and tap on a C-axis.
  • CNC lathe stock handling
    • In Week 4, we’ll learn more about various options that CNC Lathes can have. We’ll learn about parting to cut geometry away from the stock as well as some various options for stock transfer using multiple chucks. CNC lathes often can move another chuck in to grab the part, cut it away from stock, and then machine the back side. This advanced functionality is supported in Fusion 360 so let’s learn how to use it.

Taught by

Autodesk Education


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 138 ratings

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