CNC Turning

During the turning process, rod stock is rotated while a tool is held against the stock to remove material and create a cylindrical part. We employ a CNC lathe with live tooling so features like axial and radial holes, flats, grooves, and slots can be machined. Outside diameter (OD) and inside diameter (ID) threading is also available. Our range of metals, including soft metals and steel, allows parts to be made with the desired material properties, and good tolerances yield parts suitable for form, fit and functional testing.
1 to 200+ parts
Shipped in 1 to 3 days
Parts start at $65



Once a 3D CAD model is uploaded the part will be analyzed based on Proto Labs' quick-turn manufacturing process to generate an automated quote within minutes to a few hours; the quote you receive is your initial engagement with Proto Labs.

The fully interactive quote allows you to select quantity, material and lead-time; pricing will be updated automatically. Please note that our software will attempt to determine the best machining method (mill or lathe) for each material but for qualifying parts this decision can be overridden as you configure the quote. Overriding the decision may be necessary to obtain the desired threading options or to ensure critical features are machined. When selecting the machining method, remember that the surface finish of cylindrical features will always be better on the lathe. Note that the material left behind will vary depending on machining method (mill or lathe) and material family selected (hard metal, soft metal) so be sure to re-examine the colored areas when any changes are made. From there, you can call a Customer Service Engineer with questions about our process and how it relates to your part geometry, and make any modifications that are needed. When you’re satisfied with your design and decide to order your part, the necessary toolpathing to machine your parts begins immediately.
Metal rod stock
Metal rod stock
Lathe end mills
Lathe end mills
Fixtured rod stock
Fixtured rod stock

Part production

Machining toolpaths the digital part design required for our CNC machines, instructing the tools where to travel. Rod stock is loaded into the lathe based on the quote setting that you’ve selected and machining begins. The lathe rapidly machines your parts out of rod stock in a subtractive turning process with additional live tooling. Turned parts can then be left as-machined, with visible tool marks, or bead blasted. When the run is complete, parts are inspected, boxed and shipped shortly thereafter.
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