CNC Machining VS 3D Printing
CNC machining is a type of subtractive manufacturing process that carves out the needed intended product out of a block of material and 3D printing is a kind of additive manufacturing process that builds the final product layer by layer. There are several similarities as well as differences between these two manufacturing methods.
Required Material and Waste Produced
The essential difference of CNC machining’s subtractive manufacturing process and 3D printing’s additive manufacturing processes suggests that they are compatible with different materials and produce a distinct amount of waste. Since CNC machining involves only carving the shape out, it has a wide range of material options from plastic, metal, wood, wax, and almost any kind of material. On the other hand, 3D printing has more limited available choices. In general, the common 3D printing materials are mostly only plastics such as PLA and metals such as aluminum.
In addition, due to the fact that CNC machining carves the intended product out of a block of original material, it usually produces wastes that can hardly be recycled. However, since 3D printing creates the product out of scratch, it does not leave much waste after finishing building the model.
Size, Accuracy, and Time
The products made by CNC machining and 3D printing are distinct in terms of size, accuracy, and the time it takes to manufacture them.