3D printing, CNC machining & Injection molding
3D printing, CNC machining & injection molding are three common processing methods that we used in our production currently. Sometimes, for a same product, we can make it by 3D printing or CNC machining or injection molding. When we give some positive proposal to customer about which one is the best, customers are confusing at it. So now we have to explain clearly about those three processing methods.
How to choice 3D printing, CNC machining & Injection molding
What are they?
- 3D printing is a process that designers create a 3 dimension CAD model, then print it out by a 3D printer.
- CNC machining is a process that designers create a 3 dimension CAD model, then using software to convert it into a toolpath which can control machine to produce the part by CNC machines.
- Injection molding is a process that designers create a 3 dimension CAD model, and then using software to convert it into a toolpaths for milling aluminum molds.
Advantage and disadvantage
- The quickest way to produce a part is 3D printing. Designers could create a 3D CAD model at the desktop and have a 3D part in hand in hours or days. But it has limited in both the range of materials they can use and the structural strength of their products.
- CNC machining can solve the problem of 3D printing well, but it needs to develop software to convert which is more complex. Usually the price is a bit more expensive than 3D printing. It can produce the same part over and over, but it still offers no significant economies of scale as production volume grows.
- Injection molding is a good method to meet the requirement of big volume, low price and short production time. But before producing, it needs to set up to produce first part which could take weeks or months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. The set up cost could be amortized if the number of parts was large enough.
How to choose?
Obviously, those 3 processing methods have their own characteristics, and each can serve a purpose in product development. How to judge which one we should use in the production? For the fastest, and just several pieces, or just want to get sample to check the construction, 3D printing is the best choice. For low-volume functional prototypes in production-equivalent materials, CNC machining is the first. For large numbers and short lead time, the injection molding is the best.
So now hope this article can make you know more about 3D printing, CNC machining & injection molding. Creatingway always share more these metal and plastic machining information to our customers, and continously improve oursleves to services our valued customers.
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