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Home - News - What is the difference between 3D printing and CNC?

What is the difference between 3D printing and CNC?

August 23, 2022

Let's talk about it today
The difference between CNC machining and 3D printing.
First of all, 3D printing is a material addition technology, and CNC machining is a material reduction technology, so they are very different in terms of materials.

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1. Material difference
3D printing materials mainly include liquid resin (SLA), nylon powder (SLS), metal powder (SLM) and gypsum powder (full color printing)
Sandstone powder (full color printing), wire (DFM), sheet (LOM), etc. Liquid resin, nylon powder and metal powder
It occupies the vast majority of the industrial 3D printing market.
The materials used for CNC machining are all plate-like materials. The length, width, height and consumption of parts can be measured
And then cut the corresponding size plate for processing. CNC machining material selection is more than 3D printing, general hardware and plastic

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This kind of plate can be processed by CNC, and the density of formed parts is better than that of 3D printing.
2. Part difference due to forming principle
As mentioned above, 3D printing is a kind of additive manufacturing. Its principle is to cut the model into N layers / N multiple points, and then follow the sequence
Layer by layer / bit by bit, like building blocks. Therefore, 3D printing can effectively process and produce parts with complex structures,
For example, it is difficult for CNC to process hollow parts.
CNC machining is the manufacturing of reduced materials. Through various tools running at high speed, the required parts are cut according to the programmed tool path. Therefore, CNC
Machining can only produce rounded corners with certain radians, but cannot directly produce inner right angles. Wire cutting / spark cutting and other processes are required
To achieve this. CNC machining of external right angle is no problem. Therefore, 3D printing can be considered for parts with inner right angles.
There is also the surface. If the surface area of the part is large, 3D printing is also recommended. It is time-consuming to process the surface by CNC machining

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If the programmer and operator are not experienced enough, it is easy to leave obvious lines on the parts.
3. Differences in operating software
Most 3D printing slicing software is easy to operate. Even laymen can skillfully operate slicing in one or two days under professional guidance
Software. Because the slicing software is currently optimized very simply, the supports can be automatically generated, which is why 3D printing
It can be popularized to individual users.
CNC programming software is much more complex and requires professionals to operate it. People with zero foundation generally need to learn it for about half a year.

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In addition, a CNC operator is required to operate the CNC machine.
Because the programming is very complex, a part can have many CNC processing schemes, while 3D printing will only be done because of the correct placement
Processing time and consumables have a small impact, which is relatively objective.
4. Differences in post-processing
There are few options for post-processing of 3D printed parts, generally grinding, oil injection, deburring, dyeing, etc.
There are various post-processing options for CNC machined parts, including grinding, oil injection, deburring and electroplating,
Silk screen printing, pad printing, metal oxidation, radium carving, sandblasting, etc.