What is the difference between 3D printing and CNC?

When quoting a prototype project, it is necessary to select an appropriate processing method according to the characteristics of the parts in order to complete the prototype project faster and better.

At present, manual processing mainly includes CNC machining, 3D printing, laminating, rapid tooling, etc. Let's talk about it today

The difference between CNC machining and 3D printing.

First of all, 3D printing is an additive technology and CNC machining is an additive technology, so they are very different in terms of materials.


1. Differences in materials

3D printing materials mainly include liquid resin (SLA), nylon powder (SLS), metal powder (SLM) and gypsum powder (full-color printing), sandstone powder (full-color printing), wire (DFM), sheet (LOM), etc. Liquid resin, nylon powder and metal powder.

It has occupied most of the industrial 3D printing market.

The materials used for CNC machining are all sheet materials, which are plate like materials. The length, width, height and consumption of parts are measured.

And then cut the corresponding size plates for processing. CNC machining materials are more selected than 3D printing, general hardware and plastic.

All kinds of plates can be processed by CNC, and the density of formed parts is better than 3D printing.

2. Parts difference due to forming principle

As we mentioned earlier, 3D printing is an additive manufacturing. Its principle is to cut the model into N layers/N multipoints, and then follow the sequence.

Stacked layer by layer/bit by bit, just like building blocks. Therefore, 3D printing can effectively process and produce parts with complex structures,For example, for hollow parts, CNC is difficult to process hollow parts.

CNC machining is a kind of material reduction manufacturing. The required parts are cut according to the programmed tool path through various high-speed tools. So CNC Machining can only process fillets with a certain radian, but cannot directly process inner right angles. Wire cutting/sparking and other processes are required.

To implement. CNC machining of external right angle is no problem. Therefore, 3D printing processing can be considered for parts with internal right angles.

The other is the surface. If the surface area of the part is large, it is recommended to choose 3D printing. CNC machining of the surface is time-consuming, and If the programmers and operators are not experienced enough, it is easy to leave obvious lines on the parts.

3. Differences in operating software

Most 3D printing slicing software is easy to operate, even laymen can skillfully operate slicing in a day or two under professional guidance.

Software. Because the slicing software is currently very simple and supports can be generated automatically, which is why 3D printing it can be popularized to individual users.

CNC programming software is much more complex, which requires professionals to operate. People with zero foundation usually need to learn about half a year.

In addition, a CNC operator is required to operate the CNC machine.

Because of the complexity of programming, a component can have many CNC processing schemes, while 3D printing only depends on the placement position.

Processing time consumption has a small part of the impact, which is relatively objective.

4. Differences in post processing

There are not many post-processing options for 3D printed parts, such as polishing, oil spraying, deburring, dyeing, etc.

There are various options for post-processing of CNC machined parts, including polishing, oil spraying, deburring, and electroplating,

Silk screen printing, pad printing, metal oxidation, radium carving, sandblasting, etc.

It is said that there is an order of Taoism, and there is a specialization in the art industry. CNC machining and 3D printing have their own advantages and disadvantages. Select appropriate processing technology

Your prototype project plays a crucial role. If GEEKEE is selected, our engineers will analyze and suggest your project.

Post time: Oct-08-2022