Hello, my name is Roger and this is my printing service blog. I live alone in an apartment in Sydney, Australia and I run my own business which produces a range of different products for the elderly care sector. I only started the business last year so I was looking for a way to get my name out there and to publicise my brand. I found a great printing service who were able to produce a range of promotional pens, USB sticks, banners and leaflets which I distribute at the many trade shows that I attend. I hope you find my blog about using a printing service to promote your business useful.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with technology in any arena, especially when it comes to manufacturing. Back in the day, options may have been very limited when designing a product for the mass market, but today you could be faced with a dizzying array of options. If you are exploring this arena for a potential product launch and want to know whether you should use CNC machining or 3-D technology for your project, what are the key differences between these two solutions?
State of the Industry
Firstly, CNC machining has been around for a long time, which means that it is a very well-established solution and can certainly be used for mass production. 3-D printing, on the other hand, is an exciting but still innovative technology that, while it has many advantages over traditional methods, cannot be used effectively to produce large quantities of things.
CNC Versus 3-D
There are also fundamental differences in the process. 3-D printing is, essentially, additive manufacturing, while CNC machining is the opposite.
In the latter case, you will start with a block of material known as a blank and the machine will cut away all the unwanted material, leaving you with the finished item. This is great when it comes to high levels of accuracy, and you can choose CNC machining for a wide range of materials, from wood to plastic to metal.
The 3-D printing technology is completely different and will create the end result by layering the individual materials on top of each other. These can include resins, plastic filaments or metals formulated through the use of an extruder or laser.
With CNC machining, you will need to use a skilled operator to oversee the process from start to finish. They will ensure that the right tools are used, the correct speed is set, the cutting part is accurate and the materials are correctly positioned at each stage of the process.
Nevertheless, you may be able to take advantage of these two different types of manufacturing through one machine, as there are some examples coming onto the marketplace.
The Way Forward
There's no doubt that if you are looking for volume, CNC machining will be more appropriate for you. You'll always need to take into account the complexity of the task, the type of material, the manufacturing volume target and your overall budget, but you should talk with a CNC machining expert to formulate your plan.
For more information about CNC machining and CNC routers, speak to an industry professional.