CNC Machining Vs. 3D Printing

CNC Machining Vs. 3D Printing


CNC Machining and 3D printing methods are two forms of object manufacturing that draw a lot of comparisons, although they operate very different from each other. For example, CNC machining is programmed to manufacture an object by carving a material to a desired object shape, while 3D printing builds an object via layers.

While both printing methods are very different, we have outlined some advantages and disadvantages for CNC Machining and 3D printing.

Under CNC Machining (or CNC milling), a customized computer program is created for the manufacturing of an object, while accurately controlling several factors such as feed rate, location, coordination and speeds. Using CNC programming the computer program better controls exact positioning which ultimately leads to the highest standard of accuracy. Not only is CNC Machining precise, it is also very easy for repetitive manufacturing while also maintaining accuracy.

Another perk to CNC Machining is how it can work with a large variety of materials such as plastic, metal, wood and wax as well as several others.

CNC machining is faster than 3D printing. CNC machining creates an object by cutting away material to create an object, while 3D printing works by reducing an object via tiny layers until it creates the shape of an object. The process of 3D printing can’t be sped up, so when it comes to manufacturing speed CNC milling has the upper hand.

CNC milling has a higher level of quality settings. When you’re in the prototype stage, sometimes it’s nice to complete a task with speed rather than accuracy to speed up the development phase of a project, which is a big benefit to CNC milling.

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With 3D printing, one must endure the slow production of a product layer by layer, which really slows down the prototype research and development phase.

Another downside to 3D printing is that it requires a larger workforce to design operate and maintain product production. Couple this with the higher setup costs, and 3D printing becomes inferior to CNC Machining.

CNC Masters can help if you’re looking for a way to take your manufacturing business to the next level. With our professional CNC milling machines, there’s no need to invest in more floor space for your business or hobby. For more information on any of the products we offer, contact us today!

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