# Is conventional lathe a 1.5 axis machine tool?

#### Mohankpvk

In a lathe, the cutting tool can be moved in the horizontal plane(x and y axes).So x and y are the 2 axes.
But one of my teachers said that lathe is a 1.5 axis machine.Is it right?
Why are conventional drilling press,shaper and planer half axis machine tools?

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#### Ranger Mike

Gold Member
it is good for you to ask questions. it is how we learn.

From a very good machine tool publication-
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/cnc-machining/definition-each-lathe-axis-152203/

On a lathe it is standard for the Longitudinal to be Z and the Radial to be X. Vectors are I and K

The axis parallel to the spindle axis is always Z, whether its a mill or lathe. And, for the lathe, the axis that controls the diameter is always X.

And the Lathe rotary axis conform to the standard of A rotates around X, B around Y, and C around the Z.
C is the most common on a Lathe, as it relatively easy to turn the chuck into a C axis.

your teacher may be referring to the length of the lathe travel. I have sold coordinate measurement machines and these are typically described in length of travel. so see if the lathe can traverse 1.5 meters or 60 inches.

#### Tom.G

Ask your teacher what is needed to make a lathe a 2 axis machine.
Or ask the teacher to name a 2 axis machine.

#### Dullard

a manual lathe is a '1.5 axis' machine, in machinist parlance. It has 2 axes of motion, but only 1 can be (usefully) operated at a time. A lathe with CNC on X and Y can coordinate motion, and is a 2-axis machine.

#### Mohankpvk

a manual lathe is a '1.5 axis' machine, in machinist parlance. It has 2 axes of motion, but only 1 can be (usefully) operated at a time. A lathe with CNC on X and Y can coordinate motion, and is a 2-axis machine.
In case of mills with more than 6 axes,the tool movement along x and the table movement along x (both have seperate actuators) are counted as two different axes.But both these movements produce the same relative motion between the tool and the workpiece.Why are they considered different?

#### Mohankpvk

it is good for you to ask questions. it is how we learn.

From a very good machine tool publication-
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/cnc-machining/definition-each-lathe-axis-152203/

On a lathe it is standard for the Longitudinal to be Z and the Radial to be X. Vectors are I and K

The axis parallel to the spindle axis is always Z, whether its a mill or lathe. And, for the lathe, the axis that controls the diameter is always X.

And the Lathe rotary axis conform to the standard of A rotates around X, B around Y, and C around the Z.
C is the most common on a Lathe, as it relatively easy to turn the chuck into a C axis.

your teacher may be referring to the length of the lathe travel. I have sold coordinate measurement machines and these are typically described in length of travel. so see if the lathe can traverse 1.5 meters or 60 inches.

#### FarmerTony

Technically its a 4 axis machine, since the tool can be moved in/out up/down (although rare on newer models) and left/right and the piece can be rotated at different speeds. At least this is how it would be determined in robotics. But what you or your teacher call it is academic, it is what it is whether we call its a 1.5 axis machine or a 4000 axis machine.

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"Is conventional lathe a 1.5 axis machine tool?"

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