In this paper, the processes of the lathe spindle are firstly introduced. Next, 3DS MAX software is used to model the lathe spindle with actual sizes. Based on the 3D model of the spindle, the 3D model of its blank is established according to the characteristics of the spindle. All used cutting tools are modeled in 3DS MAX software. Then the changes in the allowance and the movements of cutting tools and the workpiece are simulated in this software. At last, all animations are composed with appropriate explanations. The synthetical animation is saved as a .avi type file to play the machining simulation. And also, the file may be loaded into a multimedia courseware to explain the whole process to students in class. The machining simulation can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of learning. It can be given to students as a tutorial to use to teach oneself.