Understanding the Benefits of Precision CNC Machining vs. 3D Printing

Understanding the Benefits of Precision CNC Machining vs. 3D Printing

While 3D printing has gained quite a bit of traction over the past few years, precision CNC machining offers numerous advantages over 3D printing. If you’ve been contemplating between using 3D printing or precision CNC machining for your next prototypes to production manufacturing and/or contract manufacturing job, then this next series of articles is right up your alley!

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages precision CNC machining has over 3D printing.

Tolerances and Accuracy

Precision CNC machining is able to produce parts that are more accurate and have tighter tolerances than 3D printing. Precision CNC machining processes remove material from a solid block of metal, plastic, or other material, while 3D printing builds up layers of material to create a part. This added layer-by-layer manufacturing process  can introduce inaccuracies and inconsistencies into a 3D printed part.


In terms of cost, parts produced using precision CNC machining processes typically cost less than 3D printed parts. The cost of CNC machines has come down in price significantly in recent years, while the cost of 3D printers has remained relatively high. Additionally, the raw materials used in precision CNC machining (i.e., metals and plastics) are generally less expensive than the materials used in 3D printing (i.e., resins and filaments).

Our next article will explore more advantages of using precision CNC machining processes.

JW Machine is an ISO 9001/AS 9100 certified machine shop with extensive precision CNC machining capabilities, including CNC turning, CNC milling, small part machining, close tolerance machining, laser cutting, laser engraving, and more. We have the experience, equipment, and passion to deliver your contract manufacturing and prototypes to production manufacturing projects on-time and within budget. Give us a call to learn more today!