3D Printing vs. CNC Machining – Why CNC Gain Much Superiority Over 3D Printing

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining is a type of process in which computers control the machine tools. These are capable of producing the finest and highly accurate prototypes and models. These programmed machines are almost used by every manufacturer.

Well, with the technology advancements and boom of 3D printing, the 3D printing machine manufacturers are increasing day by day. 3D printing is a type of additive process in which consecutive layers of materials are glued together to form a three dimensional object. This process is also called as additive manufacturing. A 3D printer is like an industrial robot.

Working Mechanism of CNC Machines and 3D Printing

CNC machines are programmed in G-code language using the advanced Computer Assisted Machining (CAM) /Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. A set of instruction is provided to the machine, which allows it to control the exact position and speed.

3D printing works in 3 different ways, but the mechanism is the same. It involves the conversion of 3D image into 2D image, so that the printer lays down each consecutive layer to form a three dimensional image.

Also, the working mechanism of both the machines is totally different as CNC machines involves removing the small chunks of material, to form a desired part, whereas 3D printing engages in adding small chunks of material to form a desired model.

Advantage of CNC Machines and 3D printing

CNC machines are better than the manually operated machines. Also, it makes the manufacturing of any complex shape easy as these machines are very simple to use. The main advantage of CNC machines is that once a part is being manufactured, then replica of these parts can be produced swiftly. As the machine is fully automated it works speedily. CNC machines have high accuracy.

The 3D printers are very cheap to use therefore it helps to save money. In addition, customization feature of the printer allow users to make prototypes or models, according to their needs. Also, the 3D printers reduce material wastage, leading 100% utilization of the bits and pieces.

Reasons why CNC Machines Gains Supremacy Over 3D Printing

  • CNC machines uses number of materials, but 3D printers cannot

3D printers only work with limited or plastic materials, whereas the CNC machines works with both plastic and metal for making models.

  • 3D printers are slower than CNC machines

The process of consecutive layering for making models is a lengthy process and sometimes it may take up to an hour, but CNC machines are quite speedy as they use a block of material for making a prototype.

  • CNC machines offer more choices of  quality settings, whereas 3D printers not

The quality of a model made from a 3D printer depends upon the height of layers, whereas CNC is quiet flexible in changing the quality of parts. Also, you can change the quality of various areas of prototypes.

Therefore, it is clear that 3D printers are good, but CNC machines are more better in comparison  because of their unique features.