How to choose 3D printing or CNC for prototype development?

When manufacturing product prototypes to support product development, 3D printing and CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines are two kinds of prototyping processes that need to be considered. How to choose between these two processes in specific applications, especially when the design and product specifications have not been finalized? Combined with specific cases, we can understand the characteristics of the two processes.

Advantages of 3D printing process:
1. Without the use of molds, complex geometries can be manufactured without affecting time or cost. It allows users to quickly deliver small batch parts and flexibly and flexibly adapt to design changes.
2. Support parallel part processing process, saving time. You can produce multiple parts in a single project, multiple versions of a single part, or multiple parts from different projects.
3. There is no need to use multiple settings to manufacture parts without operator supervision or intervention. After starting the work, the equipment will run until the part manufacturing is completed.
Examples of time and cost
The following example uses a labor cost rate of $37.00/hour. For hourly machine time costs, these examples use a value of $1.00 * for both 3D printing and CNC. For the material cost calculated based on the expanded volume, 3D printing uses $1.00/in3, while CNC uses $0.50/in3 * *. (take portable pallet and industrial robot adapter as an example)

Quality characteristics
1. Materials. The 3D printing process as a whole can handle a wide range of material categories, but each technology can only handle one type of material, covering a small number of materials in the corresponding category. CNC can process a variety of materials, and each type of material contains many choices. The limiting factor is only whether the material can be processed.
2. Material properties. After CNC machining, the mechanical properties of the prototype are almost the same as those of the raw materials. After 3D printing, the performance of the prototype is similar to that of the raw material. It should also be considered that 3D printed parts usually have anisotropy due to the layered nature of the process.
3. CNC process tolerance is smaller.
4. CNC surface finish is better.

If only the tolerance and finish are considered, CNC is undoubtedly the best choice. However, considering the comprehensive factors such as cost, manpower and delivery time, 3D printing technology has obvious advantages. Therefore, when 3D printing technology is currently adopted, design considerations include:
• part size and order quantity − − mass production of small parts is more economical
• part size and design complexity − − medium and small volume parts with medium and high complexity are ideal
• part surface area and frame volume − − larger surface area per cubic inch indicates more features



About Huizhou Dj Molding Co., Ltd

Dj Mold is a China mold maker of plastic molds- injection mold, die casting moulds, plastic blow molding, rotational molding, medical plastic injection molding, two shot plastic injection molding, insert molding, overmolding, metal injection molding, micro injection molding, powder injection molding, ceramic injection molding, liquid injection molding, husky injection molding, household mold, casting mold, die mold tool, custom molds, china moulds, rapid prototyping tooling, plastic prototyping tooling, punch press tooling, die and tooling for mobile/ cell phone parts, automotive parts, vacuum cleaners, rechargeable tools, telephones, copiers, computers, multimedia speakers, and many other electronic products and household appliances. And also a plastic product manufacturer, mold manufacturer China– plastic parts, plastic water tank, plastic balls, plastic containers, plastic buckle, plastic anchor, plastic hanger, plastic spoon, plastic pipe fitting, plastic tumble, plastic tableware, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic tray, plastic cosmetic container, plastic case, plastic food container, plastic chairs, plastic caps, plastic cap closure, plastic tubes, plastic water pipes, plastic knobs, plastic tubing, plastic utility boxes, plastic racks and so on.

Person: James Yuan
Company: Huizhou Dj Molding Company Limited
Add:  LongGang Village,LongXi Town,BoLuo County,HuiZhou City,GuangDong Province, China
Tel: 86-752-6682869
Email: [email protected]



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