When it comes to creative industrial technologies, nothing has generated more buzz and interest than the 3-D printer. This is due in large part to the fact that there is nothing like it. You can build a prototype or new object from scratch with a digital file. However, another just as viable and perhaps easier to use alternative is a CNC router machine. In order to understand the differences between the two, you need to explore the key elements that distinguish the two options. Then you can make the right decision for your needs. 

Addition Or Subtraction

These two devices use different methods to achieve similar results. When you use a CNC router machine, you are subtracting from an existing material to create the object you desire. In other words, you have a block of plastic, metal, or wood, and you cut pieces away to create something new. In this way you are subtracting materials from the equation. 

On the other hand, when you use a 3-D printer you are basically creating something out of nothing. There is no existing object that you are cutting away from. Instead, you have a printer that houses fibers and filaments that it uses to build a new object from scratch. Because of this, 3-D printing is considered to be an additive process. 

Size and Scope

When choosing between a CNC router and a 3-D printer, you need to consider the size and scope of your project. Because 3-D printers are so new to the market, they are still limited in the size of what the can produce. 

If you are working with anything larger than about four cubic feet, you will be hard-pressed to find a 3-D printer that can accommodate the job. So, if size is an issue, the CNC router would likely be a better choice for you. 

Additionally, if you are looking to produce a large number of copies of the same product, the CNC router machine is your best option. It works faster and can handle higher volume projects. A 3-D printer is good for making individual pieces or early prototypes but is not particularly adept to mass production. 

Computer Technology

The one major aspect that CNC routers and 3-D printers do have in common is their use of computer technology in their product generation. Both allow you to generate your designs on the computer and create a digital file from which to build your new product. Using this computer technology allows you to tweak and alter your design as much as you want before you ever start building or cutting.

When it comes to choosing between CNC routers, like from Machinery Masters Corp LLC, and 3-D printers, you need to keep in mind the ways in which these two tools work, and the possible limitations of each. All you need to do is determine which tool meets your needs and get started on creating your new product.