The Purpose of Ball Screws in CNC Machining

The Purpose of Ball Screws in CNC Machining

Ball screws serve critical roles in CNC machining and operations. To better assist their functions and ensure adequate maintenance and care, we explain their roles and responsibilities. At its core, a ball screw is a motion conversion mechanism for machinery and equipment across a variety of industrial applications. Read on to learn more about the ball screw in detail.

A Ball Screw’s Function in CNC Machines

A ball screw is the best assembly mechanism because it is highly accurate. Generally, industrial machinery and heavy equipment will use a ball screw instead of a lead screw because of its precision and attention to detail.

The ball screw is preferred in CNC machining because of its smooth and accurate motion. There is a reduced level of friction among the ball and nut. Most often, the motion will travel along a steel bearing setup, and this creates for a smooth commute within the mechanism.

How Does the Ball Screw Work?

Various components make up the ball screw and nut assembly, including a spindle nut, a spindle shaft, steel bearings, and a circulation system. Let’s look at how these components work together to create motion control.

  • A spindle shaft provides a helical runway for the bearings to move through.
  • The spindle nut travels lengthwise along the spindle shaft.
  • The steel bearings reduce friction between the screw and the nut while increasing the speed of the nut.
  • A circulation system helps the steel bearings for a smooth flow of motion.

Differences Between Ball and Lead Screws

While a ball screw is a more efficient and practical approach, it’s essential to note the differences between a lead screw and a ball screw. Ball screws have high levels of precision and mechanical depth. Compared to a lead screw, where the design is much simpler and typically comes with increased friction and flaws.

For a closer look at ball screws and motion conversion, connect with our team at Wedin International today. We provide industry-leading motion control services, repairs, and custom screw assemblies.