As the popularity of 3D printing is on the rise, we are often asked by customers to describe the differences between precision CNC machining and 3D printing. While both CNC machining and 3D printing rely on computer-aided design (CAD) software, there are some distinct and important differences. Our next series of articles will explore this further.
First, when we mention CNC machining, we are referring to multiple types of processes including, but not limited to, laser cutting, milling turning, close tolerance machining and small part machining. Now, let’s take a look at some of the differences between precision CNC machining and 3D printing.
Precision CNC machining is a fully automated “subtractive” process. In otherwards, material is cut out or drilled to manufacture the piece or part. On the contrary, 3D printing is an “additive” process where material is added in layers to build the final product.
The setup for 3D printing is much different than with precision CNC machining. With 3D printing, the operator often just uploads the design. CNC machining, on the otherhand, requires a skilled machinist to evaluate certain factors such as determining which process and/or cutter will produce the best outcome.
Our next article will discuss more differences between precision CNC machining and 3D printing.
JW Machine is your source for precision CNC machining services including small part machining, close tolerance machining, prototypes to production manufacturing, laser cutting, laser engraving, milling turning and many other contract manufacturing services. We are an ISO 9001 and AS 9100 machine shop that partners with esteemed industries including aerospace, defense and OEM parts manufacturing. If you are seeking to take your product(s) to the next level, we can help. Give your friends at JW Machine a call today!