You can do a TON on a lathe with just canned cycles in a few minutes if you know what you're doing, but I am always more efficient out of CAM.
BTW, your inventor license should have HSM with it as well, which is the exact same CAM as is used in Fusion 360 (literally the exact same kernel). They use the same post processors so you can look through the HSM/Fusion post library on the Autodesk forums and get an idea of what you're jumping into. You do need to prove out a post, or pay someone else to do it. And even after that you do need to understand code enough to know how the machine is going to react to your toolpaths and other CAM instructions.
Seems like the HSM express is free plugin, thanks. Probably very limited in that state, but its better than nothing.