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What is Swiss CNC Machining?

Published on: 2024-01-11

“Swiss CNC machining, also known as a Swiss-type lathe or a Swiss automatic lathe, is a modern tool that can make very small parts quickly and accurately.” 

Swiss CNC machine works by guiding a long metal bar through a supporting part, holding it firmly as it goes into the machine’s cutting area. Just the section of the metal bar that needs work moves into the cutting area, making it steady and accurate.

In a regular CNC lathe, the piece stays still and spins fast. It’s held tight on one or both ends. But with a Swiss lathe, the piece can spin and move back and forth on the Z-axis while tools shape it. Swiss machines can do many things at once in different areas, unlike regular lathes, which usually do one thing at a time.

Swiss CNC machining was used for making things like screws, but now they can also create complex pieces without any turned surfaces.


Different Types of CNC Machines

Swiss CNC machining can do lots of things like milling, drilling, and turning parts in a specific way. A person writes the plan in CAD software, and it goes into the computer using G-code.

There are four common types of CNC machines:

People often ask, what is CNC turning? CNC Turning is a special way of making things with machines. It’s a type of CNC machining where the material spins really fast, and a cutting tool shaves away what’s not needed.

Mills, lathes, and drills existed before computers, and now we have CNC machines to do these jobs automatically.

  • CNC Mills are super popular machines that shape materials by spinning a cutting tool and moving the part around it.
  • CNC Lathes are great for longer cylindrical shapes. They work by spinning the part, not the cutting tool, and then the machine moves the cutting tool against the part.
  • CNC Drill Presses make holes in a part without changing its shape. This machine puts the part in place like a mill, and a drill bit moves up and down to make holes.
  • CNC Swiss Machines, or Swiss screw machines, do precise cuts by reducing the force on a part. These machines combine features from different CNC machines.

A Swiss machine is like a lathe; it spins the part it’s cutting. But, it also moves the part back and forth against a spinning tool. This extra movement helps Swiss machines make things with very exact measurements.


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Benefits of Swiss Machining

Swiss CNC machining was first made for making watches, but now they are super popular in precision manufacturing. These special lathes can make tiny and precise parts really fast. They’re important for workshops that need to make a lot of small and detailed parts without making mistakes.

Swiss machining has Four important benefits:

  • Super Precise – Swiss CNC machining supports the workpiece well during machining, making tiny parts with very tight tolerances.
  • Can Make Complicated Parts – Because of the great support, Swiss machines can create intricate parts with thin walls and delicate features that other machines can’t manage.
  • Fast Speed – Swiss CNC machining can make parts much quicker than other CNC machines. Depending on the size and complexity, they can produce about 30 parts in an hour.
  • Ready-to-Ship Parts – Swiss machines make parts so well that they often don’t need extra work. This means the parts can be shipped right after being made in the machine.


CNC Swiss Machining vs. Standard CNC Machinery

Comparison  Standard CNC Machines CNC Swiss Machines 
Cost Less expensive due to simpler movements Pricier for complex movements
Movement Operate in three directions: left/right, forward/backward, and up/down. Move in up to five directions for flexibility
Precision Precise but not as exact as Swiss machines due to fewer controlled movements. Super precise, controlling multiple movements for tight tolerances
Small Parts Not much smaller Excel at making tiny parts (as small as 0.008″) with incredibly tight tolerances (down to .0002″).


What Materials Work Well with Swiss CNC Machining?

Swiss CNC machining works great with different materials, such as


Swiss CNC machining loves working with copper because it’s excellent for electricity and heat. Used for making electrical connectors, pins, sockets, and other things where electrical performance and heat are super important.


Swiss machining often uses brass because it’s easy to work with. Creates precise parts like connectors, fittings, valve bodies, and cool-looking decorations. Brass is chosen because it resists corrosion and looks nice.


Nylon is used to make super-accurate parts. It creates things like bushings, gears, and insulators because nylon slides easily is light, and doesn’t rust.


Titanium is used to make small but strong parts. Makes stuff for planes, medical implants, and other things that need to be both strong and light.


Swiss machines use aluminum because it’s light, easy to shape, and doesn’t rust quickly. It’s used to make parts for airplanes, cars, and everyday things we use.


Nickel is mainly used to make parts that don’t corrode easily, can handle high heat, and conduct electricity well. It’s used to put nickel parts in airplanes, electronics, and chemical stuff.


CNC Swiss machining uses different sturdy plastics to make things for many industries. It’s good for making stuff that slides easily, is light, doesn’t cost much, and doesn’t rust.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is used to make parts that need to be tough and affordable. It makes things like car fasteners, shafts, gun parts, and pieces for big machines.


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What Other Industries Use Swiss Machines?

Swiss CNC machining is handy in different industries that need small and super precise parts. In the medical world, they help make things like surgical instruments, orthopedic implants, dental implants, and catheters. When it comes to airplanes and stuff, Swiss machines are used to make important pieces like aircraft fasteners, hydraulic fittings, and sensor housings. 

Even in electronics, they play a role by creating tiny and accurate electronic parts like connector pins, sockets, and contact probes. So, Swiss machines are like superheroes for making things just right in various fields!


We Sculpt Your Design At Prolean

Ready to make your manufacturing better? Prolean’s cool Swiss CNC Machining services make things with super accuracy. We provide a Surface Finishing Service that boosts your product’s quality.

Over the years, ProLean changed from focusing only on Swiss CNC machining and sheet metal work to now providing many different types of machining processes. We help many industries, like medicine, cars, airplanes, and electronics. Our experts work closely with each client to turn their ideas into real and useful parts.

Choose Prolean for the best Swiss Turning Service. We make parts super precise and fast. Need ready-to-ship parts? We got that, too! Get in touch to make your manufacturing awesome with Prolean’s Swiss CNC Machining.


Wrapping Up

Swiss CNC machining is a modern technology initially designed for watch-making but is now widely used in manufacturing. It efficiently guides metal bars, allowing for precise and rapid production of small, intricate parts. Unlike traditional CNC lathes, Swiss machines offer super precision and the ability to create ready-to-ship components. 

Swiss CNC machines are really good at working with different materials like copper, brass, nylon, titanium, aluminum, nickel, plastics, and carbon steel. They play a big role in modern manufacturing because they can handle various materials and make precise components for different industries.


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