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In order to process highly precise parts, the spatial positions of the worktable and the cutter of the CNC lathe need to be defined with accurate coordinate values, and the movement of the multi-dimensional space is presented with digital computing information.

This movement axis is called the CNC axis.

Here we will discuss how many axes there are in the CNC lathe and how to identify the axes in the CNC lathe.

**Related reading:** What Is a Lathe?

CNC lathe or computer numerical control lathe is a kind of mechanical equipment, which can be controlled by computer program to carry out high-precision operation around different types of axes.

The number of axes is one of the components of a CNC lathe.

Any CNC machine has one or more axes.

Different types of CNC machines have different combinations.

For example, a four axis milling machine can have XYZA or XYZB axes.

The foam cutter may have an XYUV axis.

Lathe usually has XZ axis.

This article mainly explains how many axes there are in the CNC lathe and how to identify the axes in the CNC lathe.

**What is the number of CNC axes?**

The number of axes on the CNC lathe determines the type of work it can perform, the level of detail it can cut, and the position of the workpiece it can manipulate.

CNC machining uses CAD technology to automatically cut and shape parts.

The number of axes determines the types of motion that the CNC machine tool can perform.

How many axes does the CNC lathe have?

The reference to axes is used to describe CNC mechanical equipment running along multiple axis points.

We need to remember that NC machining is the process of removing materials from the workpiece until the desired results are obtained.

In general, a CNC machine tool has at least three axes running along the XYZ plane.

The X axis represents the vertical plane, the Y axis represents the horizontal plane, and the Z axis represents the depth.

In CNC machine tools, the number of axes usually indicates the work that can be completed.

The number of shafts also indicates the degree of detail of the workpiece it can cut and the position it can control.

The number of shafts also depends on the type of machine.

If it is an ordinary milling machine, three shafts are usually found.

These machines are also called machining centers.

The CNC lathe includes two shafts and a spindle on which parts are fixed for rotation.

But now, with the diversification of technology, we can also witness and have lathes with additional milling heads.

**Shaft recognition in CNC lathe**

The number of axes is determined by the system itself.

Generally speaking, the CNC lathe is equipped with 2 axes as standard, and the CNC milling machine is equipped with 3 axes as standard.

The number of axes of the CNC system varies, and the lathe can also do 6-axis linkage, or even control more than 10 axes.

Therefore, there is no dividing scale.

Next, we need to see the function of the system.

How many CNC lathes are there?

**Definition of Z axis:**

The Z axis is parallel to the axis on the workpiece.

Therefore, when the part rotates about the Z axis (C), the tool can move along the side of the material.

The movement along the Z axis determines the length of the job.

**Definition of X axis:**

The X axis is perpendicular to the Z axis.

Therefore, the tool can move back and forth on the X axis to determine the diameter of the part.

**Definition of Y axis:**

There is also a rotary table in the middle of the workbench, which rotates around the Z axis, which is defined as the C axis, and the c axis is 360 degrees.

The front end of the shaft is a rotary head, which can rotate 360 degrees around the Z axis and become the c axis.

**Related reading:** 4-Axis and 5-Axis CNC Machining Basics

**Representation of rotational motion and additional axis:**

**1. Rotary motion: **

The rotary motion around the X, Y and Z axes is represented by A, B and C respectively, and the positive direction is determined according to the right-hand screw rule.

**2. Additional axis:**

The movement of the additional axis is represented by U, V, W, P, Q and R.

The rotation of the additional shaft is indicated by D, E and F.

**Related reading:** 5 Axis Machining

On the CNC lathe, the Z axis is horizontal, on the left side of the operator.

Therefore, by convention, the Z axis is near or far from the main axis.

Some CNC lathes do have a Y-axis.

The carriage can be lifted and lowered to adjust the center line of the tool and drill off-axis live tools.

This post mainly introduces how many axes there are in the CNC lathe and how to identify the axes in the CNC lathe.

The CNC lathe is used to process reverse rolling parts, and the cutting tool only needs to do lateral feed and longitudinal feed activities.

Therefore, CNC lathes only control the X-axis and Z-axis, which are typical two axis CNC equipment (individual CNC lathes also have a Y-axis).