3D Printing Compare with CNC Machining


CNC machining is a common material reduction manufacturing technology, different from additive manufacturing, CNC machining usually starts with a solid block and uses a sharp rotating tool to cut the material into a required shape. And 3D printing is a additive manufacturing process that develop from nothing.
 

Material
CNC Machining: Mainly used for processing metals, as well as softwood and hardwood, thermoplastics, acrylics, modeling foams and waxes. Each material needs a different cutting tool.

3D Printing: Metal, ceramic, wax, sand and composite materials.

3d printing rapid prototyping

Efficiency
CNC Machining: CNC machines can cut materials and machined parts faster than 3D printers. However, there is a need for extensive process planning and setup through a computer, especially when multiple processing steps are required, the parts often need to be repositioned. However, there is a need for extensive process planning and setup through a computer. Especially when multiple processing steps are required, the parts often need to be repositioned.

 

3d printing rapid prototyping

3D Printing: It can realize one-time forming, which means that, in addition to post-processing, it is not dependent on other manufacturing stages, but the problem is that the whole speed is slower, it can be achieved batch manufacturing such as SLS and SLM for many processes.


Precision
CNC Machining: Precision is determined by the geometry of the cutter, because all cutter have a machining internal angle with a radius. It can be produced the shape features smaller than the tool size, such as the wall is thinner than the diameter of the tool. Compared to the surface quality of 3D printing, CNC machining is better.

3D Printing: Product sizes are usually determined by the diameter of the material transport mechanism or by the diameter of the machine light spot (such as sintered laser or UV light source). The thickness of FDM printing layer is 100-20 00 microns, and the material jet printer can operate at resolutions as low as 16 microns. 


3d printing rapid prototyping


Process
CNC Machining: Operators or engineers need to consider tool selection, spindle speed, approach position, angle, and path of cutting. These factors have greatly affected the quality and construction time of the components.

3D Printing: As long as the model is uploaded and the orientation, layer thickness and support position are selected, most of AM machines can print complete parts.

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