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Which is better, CNC or 3D printing? The difference between CNC machining and 3D printing

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CNC machining and 3D printing are two common processing techniques. There are similarities and differences between them. Both have their own advantages and will bring benefits to the manufacturing process, but which one best suits your needs? Junying Metal Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (www.cnclathing.com) is a leading manufacturing company in China with decades of experience in 3D printing and CNC manufacturing services. Here are some tips that Junying would like to share with you. These tips can help you choose the best method for your business.
What factors need to be considered when determining the manufacturing method? As an engineer or designer, it is difficult to choose a manufacturing process to create prototypes or parts. All processing technologies have their own steps and advantages. However, before choosing a manufacturing process, you need to consider some factors.
The biggest difference between CNC machining and 3D printing is the manufacturing method. CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that manufactures parts by removing material from a piece of metal, plastic, or wood to obtain a finished product with a desired shape. Although 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, it creates parts by adding raw materials layer by layer until the product is complete.
Both CNC machining and 3D printing can use a variety of materials, from metal to plastic or other materials. However, metal is more widely used for CNC machining because there are different tools, such as drills and lathes, that can cut metal easily. 3D printers are usually used with plastics. Now 3D printers can also print metal, but the printers that can print metal are expensive and always more expensive than many CNC machines. In addition to the most commonly used materials, there are other materials such as wood, acrylic, thermoplastics and other materials that can be used for CNC milling, as well as composite materials, waxes and ceramics for 3D printing. In addition, some materials that are difficult to process can only be manufactured by 3D printing.
Therefore, when choosing a manufacturing method, we should work with a team of capable engineers and designers who can help us determine which manufacturing process is most suitable for the material.
In terms of cost, 3D printing is usually cheaper than CNC machining services. This is because the materials used for 3D printing are cheaper than those used for CNC machines. The cost is also related to the manufacturing method. Compared with the additive manufacturing process, the subtractive manufacturing process will lead to more waste of raw materials. CNC machining often has surplus materials after the manufacturing process, and sometimes the surplus materials cannot be reused. 3D printing uses only the materials needed to manufacture the product. Therefore, less waste makes 3D printing more economical than CNC machining.
In addition, when choosing a manufacturing process between the two technologies, we also need to consider how many parts each technology can produce cost-effectively.
CNC machining has many advantages. Accuracy is one of these advantages-the error on each axis is only a few microns, which means that high surface accuracy can be achieved without additional machining. CNC machining is also generally better than 3D printing in terms of tolerances because it does not require heat treatment and reprocessing.
CNC machining has relatively few size restrictions; CNC machines can correctly machine small or large parts. Compared with CNC machining, the maximum part size of 3D printing is relatively moderate.
CNC machining cannot manufacture parts with complex geometries due to the use of subtractive manufacturing processes. And 3D printing can produce parts with complex geometries. When complex geometric shapes are needed, we should switch to 3D printing.
Generally speaking, there is no perfect technology for all applications. Both 3D printing service and CNC are very effective and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. 3D printing can help us minimize or completely eliminate structural constraints, but 3D printing cannot meet the tolerances required for high-precision products. CNC machining can provide tight tolerances, but cannot produce parts with complex geometries. Therefore, combining the advantages of 3D printing and CNC machining to produce parts is usually faster and more cost-effective. If you are not sure which manufacturing method your product uses, please contact Junying Metal Manufacturing Co., Ltd. We will provide excellent work to help you get the right product for your project. Junying Metal Manufacturing Co., Ltd. provides our customers with the following services:
If you want to learn more about our services, please visit our company website: www.cnclathing.com
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Post time: Oct-19-2021
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