What is the Difference Between CNC Machining and 3D Printing?

 Sheet Metal Box Manufacturers 
Sheet Metal Box Manufacturers

CNC machining is a process method for machining parts on CNC machine tools, a mechanical machining method that uses digital information to control the displacement of parts and tools, and is an effective way to solve the problems of small batches of parts, complex shapes and high precision. The following are the differences between CNC machining and 3D printing.

1, material differences: 3D printing materials are mainly liquid resin (SLA), nylon powder (SLS), metal powder (SLM), gypsum powder, sandstone powder, wire (DFM), sheet (LOM) ) and so on. Liquid resin, nylon powder and metal powder accounted for the vast majority of industrial 3D printing. CNC processing materials used are a sheet metal, a sheet material, by measuring the length, width, height, wear and tear of the part, cut out the corresponding size of the plate for processing. CNC processing materials than 3D printing more options, general hardware, plastic sheet can be CNC processed, molding parts density better than 3D printing.

2, post-processing differences: 3D printing parts of the post-processing options are not much, generally polishing, spraying, deburring, dyeing, etc. CNC processing parts have a variety of post-processing options, in addition to grinding, oil spraying, deburring, electroplating, screen printing, pad printing, metal oxidation, laser engraving, sandblasting, etc.

3, operating software differences: most 3D printing slicing software is simple to operate, even laymen two days of professional guidance can master the slicing software, because the slicing software is currently optimized very simple, can automatically generate support. CNC programming software is much more complex, requiring professional operation, zero-based people usually have to learn about six months, in addition, the need for a CNC operator to operate CNC machines. Because programming is very complex, a part can have a variety of CNC machining solutions, while 3D printing is more objective because of the small amount of consumables when placed for processing.

4, molding principle caused by the difference in parts: 3D printing is a kind of additive manufacturing, its principle is to cut the model into N layers / N more points, and then one by one / little by little in turn stacked up, just like building blocks. Therefore, 3D printing can efficiently process structurally complex parts, such as skeletonized parts, while CNC machining of skeletonized parts is more difficult.

CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that cuts the desired part by various tools running at high speed and following a programmed tool path. Therefore, CNC machining can only produce rounded corners with a certain curvature and cannot directly machine internal right angles, which is achieved through processes such as wire cutting/sparking, and therefore, can be considered for 3D printing using internal right angle parts.

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