Why You Should Consider Swiss-Style Turning

Swiss machining has long been considered a specialty tooling technique, but in the past decade it has evolved into a shop staple. No longer used almost solely for the medical and electronics fields, Swiss machining has creeped into every sector of the manufacturing industry.

One of the biggest differences between conventional CNC lathes and Swiss-type turning centers is the cutting tool’s motion or lack thereof. In conventional turning, the stock remains stationary, aside from spinning, as the tool moves along the substrate. Swiss-type machines are designed to allow the stock to move along the Z-axis, while keeping the tool stationary.

Swiss turning is especially effective for long, delicate parts with tight tolerances, because the stock material is fed through a guide bushing on a sliding headstock. In any CNC and Swiss lathe, the bar stock is held on one side. The longer or narrower a part is, the more it will wobble as a result of centripetal force as it spins. The guide bushing acts as a point of support to eliminate this wobble.

The increased stability inherent with Swiss machining means that parts are less likely to deflect and be gouged, even at more aggressive feed rates. The tool is able to cut material near the point of support, no matter how long the part is, keeping tolerances as tight as they need to be. Swiss machines can handle parts with up to a 20:1 length to width ratio.

As the guide bushing ensures efficient, safe cuts, users are free to run multiple tools simultaneously. Quick-change gang-tooling slides and multiple turrets allow operators to load as many tools as necessary for the complete machining of a part and then leave the machine to run. The combination of time savings and increased accuracy makes Swiss machining impossible to ignore.

Mastercam users that have been looking for a Swiss solution integrated with our intuitive interface are in luck. Using Lathe and Mill/Mill 3D licenses with a custom post processor, you can now program your Swiss machines using our familiar software. Mastercam Swiss Solutions cover gang-style machines and limited gang-turret and B-axis machines. Optimized post processors are available for machines from manufacturers including:

  • Star
  • Tsugami
  • Citizen
  • Swistek
  • DMG Mori
  • Hanwha
  • Ganesh
  • Nexturn

To add the flexibility of Mastercam Swiss Solutions to your shop, contact your local Mastercam Reseller.