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3D Printing or CNC Prototyping?

3D printing is the new technology developing more and more popular in recent years, while CNC Prototyping China is a mature technology for many years already. So what is the difference between 3D printing and CNC prototyping? How to choose?

Advantages and disadvantages between 3D printing and CNC prototyping:

1. The most advantage for CNC is efficient and economic, and for 3D printing is high degree of freedom. It can make the complex shape or feature which can not be manufactured by the traditional processes (including CNC).

2. 3D printing technology, such as selective laser melting (SLM), must need the support structure to fix the model when processing. The parts can not be manufactured without any supports, which is a major bottleneck for the further development in the manufacturing industry.

3. The traditional CNC prototyping has developed for a long period, which has a mature standard already, including spindle, tool interface, control system, etc.While the field of 3D printing is currently lack of such standard, and it will take a very long time to estimate the industry standard.

4. 3D printing has higher degree of freedom, which can print a variety of strange and impossible model or product, while CNC processing has much limit for this.In a word, the scope of 3D printing is much larger than CNC prototyping, as CNC is limited by the tool interface, etc.

5. Moreover, 3D printing is not as good as CNC prototyping on making the whole piece. Especially for large pieces, 3D printing is generally more difficult to achieve it, while CNC prototyping should be no such problem.

6. CNC prototyping should be cheaper than 3D printing generally.

7. The result comes from the difference between these two processes is that 3D printing allows you to make the parts as you like without any shape or structure limit, while CNC prototyping has the more advantages is in the economy and large models.

obvious difference between these 2 processes

Apart from the difference mentioned above, let’s find the most obvious difference between these 2 processes: 3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing, to do “add” on the model, similar to squeeze the toothpaste to make the final part by piling up the materials; while CNC prototyping is a type of subtractive manufacturing, to do subtraction on the workpiece by cutting or removing the materials from the model, then to have the final part.

Of course, we just talk the obvious difference between them. At TEAM Rapid, we provide both 3D printing and CNC Prototyping China services for your product development. Not sure about the best and cheapest way to make a prototype? Just to contact us, we will help you to find out it.

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