The advantages of CNC machining compared to 3D printing

3D printing and CNC machining are common production processes in the field of precision machining today. While they share some similarities, they also have significant differences. For instance, CNC machining is suitable for mass production. It can create many products in a shorter time, whereas 3D printing may take hours to create a single product. What are the advantages of CNC machining compared to 3D printing? The main points are as follows:

CNC Machining

Surface Finish Advantage

CNC machines provide a better surface finish than 3D printing because the material does not deform during the machining process. The rigidity of the material and the cutting action keep the product intact, reducing the chances of errors or deformations. In contrast, 3D printing tends to have poorer surface finishes as the material may bend, warp, or twist since it is formed by layered heated plastic.

Improved Prototype Integrity

CNC machines do not heat and reshape the material. Compared to 3D printers, the material remains stronger and maintains better structural integrity. 3D printers must heat the material to build the intended product and may also need to add foreign substances to the mixture to create a prototype, which CNC machines do not require.

Easier Prototype Design

CNC machines are better suited for prototypes that can withstand structural testing because they carve the design out of the material. They can also build prototypes using the exact materials intended for the final product. Structural testing and modifications will be more accurate since they use the same materials, which can speed up the production process because changes will be to the design rather than the material. 3D printers do not produce prototypes with structural strength, making physical testing impossible.

Cost and Volume Independence

The cost of 3D printing depends on the volume of the required material. The quantity of the final product does not determine the cost for CNC machines. For larger orders, 3D printing is not cost-effective, which is where CNC machines thrive.

Increased Tolerance Levels

CNC machines offer higher precision, resulting in parts with better tolerances compared to 3D printers. Due to higher tolerance levels, prototypes with shafts or those that connect to other parts will have higher quality and are more likely to fit other components.

Quality Favors CNC

Larger layers in 3D printing are faster but of lower quality than smaller layers. If you need a prototype, you can choose to get it quickly but with slightly lower quality, or wait longer for the best quality the printer can offer. CNC machines allow you to choose the resolution of the items. They can provide different quality levels in a short time, making them ideal for quickly building and immediately testing results.

Cost Reduction

If you have the option to choose the manufacturing method for your product, CNC machining is generally cheaper than 3D printing.

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Want.Net Technical Team

Want.Net Technical Team

The Want.Net Technical Team has diverse members with extensive education and training in CNC machining. They prioritize precision, efficiency, and innovation to provide high-quality manufacturing solutions globally.

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