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What is the difference between the CNC’ed parts and 3D printed parts?

3D Printing and CNC machining process both are one of the most common ways of rapid prototyping,but you may not know what is the difference between them for a lot of people. Here our company’s engineer will help you to analyze the difference between them.


  1. Different material processing principle

3D printing a programmed laser is used to fuse the powder into a solid one layer at a time to create the finished product, just the SLA’s raw material is the liquid plastic, and the SLS’s raw material is a fine powder. But the CNC processing is removing layers from a block of raw material in order to form a desired shape.


  1. Different processing range

3D printing materail is mainly plastic material, such as UV Curable Resin, ABS and so on, the available printing size usually can not over 600mm, if so, it needs to be separate printing, also the cost is very high if printing large parts as charge by weight. But the material of CNC machining is more extensive, almost all engineering grade plastic and metal sheet material can be processed (such as ABS, Polycarbonate, Acrylic, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.), and the available machining size is very large at least over 1 meter, such as Gantry CNC machine which can processing size can even to be processed 2 to 3 meters of a whole part.


  1. About Strength

Usually the 3d printing is good at small and complex parts. Because the material of 3d printing is the liquid plastic or fine powder, thus the strength of the part from 3d printiung is not good, usually just look, also it can not resist high temperature. But the part from CNC very strong, it can choose difference material performance to processing, such as high strength, good wearproof, High temperature and so on, It can often be used as a finished product.


  1. About Precision

The part from 3d printing is rough and low precision, but the CNC’ed part is high pricision,  usually can reach +/- 0.1mm for plastic, +/- 0.05mm for metal.