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What is the difference between 3D printing and CNC machining
1. Material difference
3D printing materials mainly include liquid resin (SLA), nylon powder (SLS), metal powder (SLM), gypsum powder (full color printing), sandstone powder (full color printing), wire (DFM), sheet metal (LOM), etc. Liquid resins, nylon powders and metal powders account for most of the market for industrial 3D printing.
The materials used in CNC machining are plate - like materials. After measuring the length, width, height and wear degree of the parts, the corresponding size of the plate is cut for processing. CNC machining materials have more options than 3D printing. General metal and plastic sheet can be CNC machining, molding density is better than 3D printing.
2. Differences in parts caused by forming principles
3D printing is a kind of additive manufacturing. The idea is to cut the model into N layers/N multipoints and stack them on top of each other, like building blocks. Therefore, 3D printing can effectively process and produce parts with complex structure, such as hollow parts, which are difficult for CNC to process.
CNC machining is the manufacturing of raw materials. Through the high-speed operation of various tools, according to the programmed tool path cutting parts required. Therefore, CNC machining can only process a certain radian of rounded corners, can not directly process the inner right Angle, need to be realized by wire cutting/spark and other processes. Nc machining outside the right Angle is no problem. Therefore, consider 3D printing parts with internal right angles.
And the surface. If the part has a large surface area, 3D printing is also recommended. Machining the surface by NC machining is time consuming. Moreover, if the programmers and operators are inexperienced, it is easy to leave visible marks on the parts.
3. Differences in operating software
Most 3D printing slicing software is simple to use. Even a layman, under the guidance of a professional, can become proficient with the slicing software in a day or two. The slicing software is currently optimized to be so simple that the scaffold can be automatically generated, which is why 3D printing can be popularized by individual users.
Numerical control programming software is much more complex and requires professional operation. People with zero foundation usually need to study for about half a year. In addition, a CNC operator is needed to operate the CNC machine.
Due to the complexity of programming, a part can have many CNC machining schemes, while 3D printing has a relatively objective effect on processing time and consumables due to its location.
4. Differences in post-processing
There are few post-treatment options for 3D-printed parts, generally sanding, oil spraying, deburring, dyeing and so on.
CNC machining parts have a variety of post-treatment options, including grinding, oil injection, deburring, electroplating, screen printing, pad printing, metal oxidation, laser engraving, sandblasting, etc.