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M5 - Mini-Lathe

Project No.: M5

Project Title: Mini-Lathe


The aims of this project are to design and construct a mini-lathe turning machine for hobbyist use in tooling small plastic and soft metal parts. The mini-lathe turning machine is driven by a DC motor with AC power supply.


Design of all the parts of the racing car and track modules should be done in the computer using 3D feature-based parametric solid modeling approach so that design changes can be made. A virtual assembly in the computer using assembly constraints is mandatory. Use of materials and manufacturing processes should be investigated and proposed. Standard parts and related accessories available in the market should be selected and sourced. Their specifications and availability must be confirmed prior to manufacturing.

The mini-lathe turning machine consists of 4 essential parts: headstock with spindle and motor, tailstock, bed, and carriage with cross-slide. It should be small in size with reasonable power to machine small plastic and soft metal materials. Appropriate adjustment in turning speed and torque should be allowed. Functional requirements and mechanical principles such as cutting speeds for various materials and torque-speed relationship should be considered and addressed in the design and choice of material. The design of the components should allow flexibility in using standard market available accessories, such as chunk and tools. Apart from the electronic and electrical parts, you are required to design and manufacture all the component parts. Figure 1 shows a sample of mini-lathe turning machine.

Figure 1 Mini-lathe turning machine


Mini-lathe turning machine with a DC motor
Variable speed controller
AC power supply Adjustable turning speed and torque
Swing over bed is 100 mm
Swing over carriage is 65 mm
Overall length is around 750 mm
Overall width is around 350 mm
Overall height is around 280 mm