Coordinates for the CNC Lathe

Provided by: ToolingU

"Coordinates for the CNC Lathe" provides an overview of the coordinates used to program cutting operations on CNC lathes or turning centers. It introduces the systems of both Cartesian and polar coordinates and describes how Cartesian axes are used on a CNC lathe. The class describes both how coordinates are used on blueprints and how they are applied as machine movements. This includes concepts such as incremental vs. absolute coordinates, linear and circular interpolation, machine zero, and program zero. Coordinates and axis movements are at the core of operations for a CNC machine. A foundational knowledge of these topics is necessary to understand how and why parts can be successfully made on the CNC lathe or turning center.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the Cartesian coordinate system
  • Identify the origin and the positive and negative directions of the Cartesian coordinate system
  • Describe blueprints and computer-aided design
  • Describe the polar and spherical coordinate systems
  • Describe the general guidelines for locating axes on CNC machines
  • Describe axes on the CNC turning center
  • Identify the A, B, and C rotational axes
  • Describe linear and circular interpolation
  • Describe the role and location of machine zero
  • Describe the role and location of program zero
  • Describe incremental and absolute coordinates
  • Distinguish between incremental and absolute coordinates.

Recommended Background

  • Recommended for all manufacturing personnel operating CNC machines.

Course ID







Communication, Critical Thinking, Personal Effectiveness, CNC Lathe Basics, Cartesian Coordinate Systmes

Method of Delivery


Estimated Effort

2.5 hrs



If you are in WHIN region, contact your HR for a coupon code