An introduction to CNC lathe parts catcher: Pros & Cons

August 13, 2021

In order for a CNC lathe parts catcher to work, it needs some kind of transmission link to convert the rotary motion of the motors into the translational motion of the axes. In this article, we will look at the common types of transfers and describe their advantages and disadvantages, as well as their areas of application.

CNC lathe parts catcher

This machine can be divided into several types:

  • Gears of the "screw / nut" type. These include threaded rod, trapezoidal screw and lath part screw.
  • Gear drives, these include the toothed belt and rack.
  • Other types of transmissions, these include chain and cable drives.
  • Screw / nut gears
  • Threaded rod

From where we can get CNC lathe parts catcher?

If you're lucky, the nearest hardware store can easily become an endless source of drive screws and nuts for CNC lathe parts catcher. But luck is far from always, since in most places there are curved Chinese hairpins with rolled thread, the profile is not even close to a classic triangle.

To make it not quite crooked, you should pay attention to the stainless steel studs, and if you want to be completely straight - to the hardened studs with strength of 10.9, they will definitely be smooth and with a full-fledged thread profile.

Ø Pros

The low price is already obvious, even a high-strength stud will cost less than a trapezoidal screw, and even more so a lath part screw. Absolutely everything is available in the case of studs - from the studs themselves with nuts, to dies and taps, if you suddenly want to make a design on custom components of your own production. The hairpin has a fully self-locking effect and will not turn under any load.

Ø Cons

In view of the fact that the studs of CNC lathe parts catcher are primarily fasteners, then the thread on them is cut accordingly - fastening, not running. Therefore, the stud as a drive will not have a very long resource, and due to the small pitch of the thread, it will also have a low speed.

Where to put the studs in CNC lathe parts catcher:

If the budget is limited, but you really want a CNC machine and do not fear its slowness, the drive on a hairpin is your choice.

Ø Pros

Cheaper lath part screw, despite the fact that CNC lathe parts catcher provides comparable accuracy. Withstands a load greater than a threaded rod and has a fairly good resource. On sale you can find taps for making custom running nuts, and if you want to make a custom nut, for example, from carpool, then the tap can be made from a piece of the screw itself using emery and a grinder.


A large thread pitch provides a relatively good speed, and if a multi-start screw is common, the speed will be even higher. Of the advantages, one can also note a fairly simple selection of the backlash on the running nut - depending on the design of the machine, it is usually enough to tighten or loosen a couple of screws for this.

Ø Cons

It is sufficiently high frictional losses in the screw / nut pair, which forces the use of more powerful drive motors, and the screw and nut itself, heats up during operation of CNC lathe parts catcher. If you have to work for a long time at high speeds, then keep in mind that this pair will heat up very much. This is due to the peculiarities of the backlash selection.

If you tighten it harder, it will warm up due to friction, and if you loosen it, it will backlash under load.

Where to use a trapezoidal screw:

From a CNC lathe parts catcher manufacturing perspective, a trapezoidal screw is roughly like an advanced version of a stud or a reduced version of a lath part screw. It is worth using it where load-bearing capacity and accuracy are important, but there will be no long hours of work

Where you should not use a trapezoidal screw:

Where there will be a long processing - for example, finishing 3D milling of complex relief.

Lath part screw

Lath part screw transmission is currently the most common type of screw-nut transmission. The lath part screw has all the advantages of screw-nut gears, but unlike studs and screws with a trapezoidal thread, it is not a slip, but a rolling gear, which sharply increases CNC lathe parts catcher’s efficiency, reduces wear and friction losses.

Structurally, the lath part screw arranges as follows: a screw and a nut, between which there are lath parts in the grooves. The grooves serve as raceways, and the movement of the lath parts inside the nut occurs along a closed path - there is a return channel in the nut, through which, when the screw rotates, the lath parts can continuously circulate inside the nut, translating it along the axis of the screw.
CNC lathe parts catcher 2021

Ø What is the role of a CNC lathe parts catcher?

Small lath part screws usually have one thread start. On large lath part screws, there may be several of them, in this case the lath part return channel leads to an adjacent thread so that the lath parts pass the entire nut, and the transmission itself in this CNC lathe parts catcher can withstand an even greater load compared to a single-threaded one.


Due to the fact that the lath part screw is a kind of lath part bearing, it has low friction losses, and therefore high transmission efficiency.


Lath part screws do not have the effect of self-braking, therefore, if hold does not enable in the CNC lathe parts catcher controller, then under load the screw can easily turn with a corresponding change in coordinates

Where to use lath part screws:

It is common for precision and productive milling and similar machines. For example, is common for milling cutters for steel, non-ferrous metal, milling cutters for wood and plastics.

Where lath part screws should not be common:

Where a high speed of work or idle movements requires, it is better to choose a different type of transmission.