What’s the difference between 3D Printing and CNC Machining?

May 10, 2018

The industry scale of 3D printing is increasing rapidly no matter in China or in the world. As a manufacturing technology, 3D printing is naturally compared with the traditional process CNC machining. So what's the difference?

 

1. Operational Principle

 

3D printing successive layers of material are formed to create the object during these processes which are controlled by computer. CNC machining is based on the cutting, drilling, milling, grinding, casting and forging. The principle is that the CNC machine tool engraves the gong on the top of the raw material, according to a certain path according to the command of the program, and the prototype of the release plate.

 

 

 

2. Process characteristics

 

3D printing can process all kinds of complex curved surfaces and special-shaped structures, part into whole module without any fixture. CNC machining are limited to process the complex structure with one block, it’s need to split pieces to machined or step and repeat machine.

 

 

 

3. Material processing

 

Most of plastic and metal material widely used in CNC Machining industry. For the 3D Printing, several kinds of processing material are resin, ABS, and metal powder etc are more limited. But it has great advantages in the production cycle.

 

 

 

4. Cost Structure


3D Printing are charged by weight, for small and complex structure parts are more cost-effective. For large product with simple structure are suggest to suggest make by CNC processing.

 

 

Suggest Reading: What’s the difference between 3D Printing and CNC Machining?

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