CNC machining vs. 3D printing has been an ongoing discussion among professionals working in prototyping. In recent times, 3D printing has exploded, and it isn’t the once high technology available to a handful of people who could afford the expensive printers and the technology associated.
Today, the story is quite different. In contrast to CNC machining, 3D printers are simpler to operate, and they produce models with an impeccable scale in no time. But models produced with 3D printing are rather frail and lack surface smoothness. Another downside is that there is a limited number of materials that can be used for printing.
At the same time, functionality is the upper hand of CNC machining produced prototypes. They are made by processing raw materials. When finished, the prototype has all the early work model properties, which is a fundamental trait. CNC machining has infinite possibilities to create B2B products from all kinds of materials, including metal, plastics, foam, composites, and wood.
Many key industrial sectors would be inconceivable without it, like the aluminum extrusion industry, for example, where the main component (the die) must undergo CNC machining to fabricate the most delicate end products out of aluminum. And it goes the same for more or less every metalworking B2B industry there is. So what are the reasons why CNC prototyping is perfect for the B2B product industry?
Photo from Worthy Hardware
Strong And Revisable Prototypes
In many cases of new product developments, entrepreneurs like to have the comfort of working on their prototype at all product development phases. CNC prototyping is ideal here. It helps administer needed modifications at any time while reducing costs and retaining functional capability as much as possible.
Prototypes made with CNC are robust and tough, so they are perfect for exhibiting and displaying. They enable you to showcase your product’s full course, from the principal idea to a product ready to be placed on the market.
Accuracy And Quality Control
Accuracy is one of the main traits of CNC-machining-made products. Of course, It is also a great advantage to have when developing your prototype. If you use CNC machining to make your prototype, you will have full command of the product design – from form to finish.
Photo from Medium
In the CNC machining world, quality control is considered sacred. Service providers obey it religiously. They add the correct commands, guaranteeing the product’s prime quality. Having a CNC machining specialist on board is essential to building a successful product prototype.
Usable And Fully Functional Prototypes
CNC prototypes are almost the same as the finished product ready for the market. This is not the case with a 3D printer made counterpart. It can be observed in its functionality as well as its visual features.
If you choose CNC machining for your prototype, you will be in total control regarding the prototype’s customization in all its aspects – scale, proportions, fittings, motion, and every other critical feature. This way, you can construct a beta design. The other fantastic thing is that your CNC-machining-made prototype can be your finished product very quickly and with a handful of adjustments.
If it is essential to your strategy to get your product on the market as soon as possible, don’t waste any time contacting a CNC machining service.
Exceptional Degree Of Detail
As we go on, it is getting clear that prototypes built using CNC machining are far more refined and with a much greater degree of detail than the ones made with 3D printers. The incentive behind the invention of CNC machines is the automation of manufacturing, so it reduces occupational risks, minimizes human-made mistakes, and boosts production volumes.
As technologies advance, these machines can achieve far more than just processing electronic data to treat raw material. Today you can build a product from zero using CNC machines. Specialized machining services utilize in-depth expertise in manufacturing tech and CAD to try out a wide array of product designs to optimize many aspects of the product, from visual appearance to the more economic facets of the process.
Photo from 3erp
There is no other technology that offers you a better way to exhibit your models than CNC machining, either a full-scale replication or a mockup. Yes, 3D printing makes things a lot quicker, but those prototypes are quite delicate and may degenerate with time. It can easily suffer damage while moving it around or in the production phase and leave you with empty hands just before your big meeting or expo fair.
Because of that, 3D printers are used for making prototypes for consumables or other small products. However, in the B2B industry, a prototype must showcase the finished product as accurately and genuinely as possible. So be sure to use an approach that will convey the essential features to the interested party. CNC machining enables you to do all that and more.
To wrap it up, the choice is yours, but you need to know the fundamental distinctions between the two models. Use 3D printing if you have a hobby like printing action figures and collectibles. Always rely on CNC machining if you need a professionally made, operational, and highly precise prototype (that’s just a few modifications away from the final product) while also saving precious time in the process.
Having your CNC machine may look like the optimal solution, but subcontracting the making of your prototype to a CNC machine service is the professional way since they possess all the expertise for producing a high-quality industrial prototype. You will definitely not regret it. Don’t take any shortcuts because your product’s prototype must reflect your business’s working ethics, something that nobody should do lightly in any industry.
A professionally designed and manufactured prototype will do just that and make you feel proud and happy with your working process.
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