Whenever you need to make a new part, you have two options: CNC machining as well as 3D printing. Even though both procedures are common nowadays, they have developed to accommodate different expectations, so knowing which technique will best fit your objectives is critical.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the details as the decision-making approach can be simplified by following a few simple recommendations.

Understanding The Basics

CNC machining also referred to as subtractive manufacturing, involves part machining and has been a popular choice among its users for the past several years.

To make an ultimate result, the procedure entails removing or cutting material from a brick. Currently, subtractive manufacturing is utilised for prototyping, production, and assembly line purposes in several ways (milling, turning, laser cutting, wire EDM, and carving, to name a few).

So, what is 3D printing?  Additive manufacturing, also known as fast prototyping or 3D printing, is a relatively new fabrication method rapidly gaining popularity because of technological and material breakthroughs.

Whenever it relates to item innovation and the industrial environment, each technology has advantages and disadvantages.

There are many points to be made about which approach is best for your company or project, but it’s essential to mention that these techniques are frequently compatible and may coexist. You can figure out how these technologies can help your business.

The Significant Distinctions


CNC machines can make almost anything. CNC machines provide many quality parameters that can be used to create fixtures, tooling, and custom-designed components. CNC machines create things fast so that programmers may test them. 3D printers can match this rapid effectiveness.

Similarly, 3D printing is a racehorse whenever it relates to speed, enabling you to construct concepts for testing swiftly. When using CNC machining, you must put in place the tooling every time your design changes. As a consequence, retooling is time-consuming and costly.


Since CNC machining has a larger heat tolerance than 3D printing, it is more accurate and reliable. Whenever there is considerable heat, 3D printers produce deformed items. They can provide precision but not consistency.

3D printers are frequently more user-friendly than CNC machines; however, when they break down, somebody has to debug them since the problem implies worthless objects are produced.


Cutting material away with a revolving tool is what CNC milling is all about. Consequently, a lot of stuff is spewing out, and it could be pretty sharp.

Whenever operating on a block of material, not all CNC machines are completely covered, leading to a lot of mess. You also have to pick up the pieces within confined mills once the workpiece is completed.

By nature, 3D printing isn’t messy. Nevertheless, you might have to extract thermoplastics from your print bed if anything goes awry. Cleaning up after CNC machining, on the other hand, is a breeze.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to 3D vs CNC machining, to determine what makes perfect sense for you, consider size, amount, efficiency, and usefulness, among other factors.

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