The advantages of CNC machining versus 3D printing

Table of Contents

The advantages of CNC machining versus 3D printing

sheet metal fabrication services
sheet metal fabrication services

3D printing and CNC machining are relatively common production processes in the field of precision machining. There are similarities and differences between them. For example, CNC machining is suitable for mass production. It can create many products in a shorter period of time, and 3D printing takes hours to create a product. Compared with 3D printing, what advantages does CNC machining have? The main points are as follows:

CNC machining advantages of surface treatment

CNC machining provides a better surface finish than 3D printing because the material will not be deformed during processing. The rigid material and cutting action keep the product together, and there is less chance of error or deformation. The surface finish of 3D printing is poor. The material is bent or twisted because the material is layered to heat the plastic.

CNC machining prototype integrity is improved

CNC machining does not need to heat the material and modify it. Compared with 3D printing, the material remains stronger and has better structural integrity. 3D printing must heat the material to build the desired product. 3D printing may also require the addition of foreign matter to the mixture to make a prototype, while CNC machining does not.

CNC machining prototyping becomes easier

CNC machining is more suitable for prototypes that can withstand structural testing because they engrave designs from materials. They can also build prototypes using the exact materials that will be used to make the final product. Structural tests and changes will be more accurate because they use the same materials. This can speed up the production process, because the change will be the design rather than the material. 3D printing does not produce prototypes with structural strength, so they cannot be physically tested.

CNC machining price is better than 3D printing on larger orders

The cost of 3D printing depends on the volume of materials required, and the number of final products does not determine the price. For larger orders, 3D printing is not cost-effective. But CNC machining has cost advantages for larger orders, and this is exactly why CNC machining is booming.

CNC machining tolerance level is high

The precision of CNC machine tools is higher, so the parts have better tolerances than 3D printers. Due to the tolerance level, prototypes with shafts or connections to other components will have higher quality and are more likely to fit other components.

The quality of CNC processed products is better

3D printing is faster, but not as high quality as CNC machining. If you need a prototype, you can choose to get it quickly but with a slightly lower quality, or wait longer to use CNC machining to get a better quality prototype than 3D printing. CNC machining allows you to choose the resolution of the item. They can provide different qualities in a short period of time, and make them ideal for rapid construction and immediate test results

Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

error: Content is protected !!

One-stop sourcing your rapid prototype and custom part

Precision Machining cnc machining
Request A Quote: Please attach your 3D drawing (preferably STEP and IGS format). Got multiple files? Put all your files in a folder and compress the folder into ZIP or RAR file. (File Type: doc|excel|png|jpeg|csv|pdf)
Alternatively, send through your RFQ by email.