CNC Machine Vs. 3D Printer: Which One Suit You Best?

The controversy over CNC versus 3D printers has been raging for quite some time. The cost of this 3D printer is less than two thousand dollars, compared to the over $100,000 cost of the CNC machine.

It’s easy to see why so many individuals are still undecided about which one is best for their task.

Both machines have their advantages and disadvantages, but it all depends on what you want to use them for. Check out this post to discover whether a CNC machine or 3D printer is better for your company.

CNC Machine vs. 3D Printer: Who Will Be Better?

It’s no surprise that this discussion is still raging in today’s fast-paced world of rapid technological advancement and new technological trends.

But first, let’s have a look at what these two gadgets can do for you as their users or customers in terms of functionality, before we compare their advantages and disadvantages.


With the help of tools that cut and spin, the CNC machine can do a wide range of complicated machining tasks.

With this machine, wood, metal, and plastic, as well as acrylics and polycarbonate polymers used in automobiles, may all be cut with great accuracy using this machine.

CNC vs 3D Printer

This substance is used in vehicles to make them tough enough to resist dents without denting themselves back up after striking someone else’s vehicle hard enough that they can see stars in their rearview mirror. This isn’t amazing.

There are many ways to recycle aluminium and keep our varied community of producers happy, and one of them is by using it to create aluminium cans and other aluminium products.

Using the CNC machine takes a high level of expertise.

Finding the right material for your project is the first step, followed by selecting from a wide range of sizes and shapes; this might take hours!

Each step should be approached with some degree of calmness, and this includes making decisions on the amount of depth between cuts before going on to a new one.


  • CNC routers are quite affordable compared to other devices on the market, often costing less than $2,000. You may use it to cut and shape metal, plastic, and wood, depending on your project’s requirements.
  • CNC mills have a longer history than CNC routers, making them more dependable, accurate, and cost-effective.
  • As a result, you don’t need to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a CNC router that is capable of handling large-scale tasks.
  • CNC routers are ideal for cutting wood, plastic, and other non-metal materials, while CNC milling machines are better suited for cutting metal.
  • To go through heavier metals or even thick wood without breaking the edges, it is best to use a CNC mill rather than a CNC router, since the router’s bits are too small.
  • When dealing with thicker metals, CNC machines come in handy since CNC routers are not equipped for this level of cutting accuracy.
  • Compared to CNC milling machines, CNC routers are quicker to set up and begin working on your CNC projects because of their simpler designs.
  • CNC routers have far greater rotational speeds than CNC milling machines, so they can cut or shape materials more quickly and within a shorter time period. It takes much longer for CNC milling machines to achieve the desired depth.


  • CNC routers may be noisy and filthy, which might not be ideal for everyone.
  • While cutting metal or wood with a CNC router, airborne particles may be ingested. This necessitates an air filtration system.
  • CNC mills make a lot of noise, so CNC routers are a better choice if you want to work on wood projects or don’t want your spouse to believe the garage is taking off like an aircraft.
  • If noise is a concern in your office or home, you should bear this in mind when purchasing a CNC machine.
  • If you prefer a CNC milling machine to a CNC router, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • CNC mills are often much bigger than CNC routers, so you’ll need more space on your workbench or garage floor if you want to use them there.
  • Additionally, CNC mills may cost thousands of dollars, so CNC routers may be more cost-effective for people on a tight budget.
  • There are a number of advantages to using a CNC mill over a CNC router when it comes to cutting and shaping materials, such as being more accurate and efficient.
  • CNC routers may also heat up quicker than CNC milling machines because their bits travel at such high rates. Therefore, you want to ensure that CNC routers are watched after usage to prevent any mishaps.

3D Printer

Since its inception in the 1980s, three-dimensional printing has made significant progress.

Layer by layer, 3D printers create solid items by melting together diverse elements like plastic filament and metal powders before putting them on the build plate, where they solidify instantaneously into a finished object!

There is now a desktop version of this technology that is cheap ($3000) and can do most of the most common tasks on a job site without the need for skilled workers to be easily available all over the world. This makes the technology more sustainable.

CNC vs 3D Printer

This is why you should consider acquiring one now if you want your company to be a part of the green construction revolution.

3D printing is simple to use but takes more time. Before you can put up all of the support structures needed for components with such great geometric complexity as those made by this technology, you must first prepare the file and pick an orientation for printing on your printer’s build tray.

As soon as everything is set up properly, wait for everything to be completed before moving on to other aspects of the process.


  • A 3D printer is a cutting-edge and exacting method of fabrication. It can make three-dimensional products from plastic, metal alloys, or food-grade bio-inks.
  • 3D printers can be used to make prototypes that can be used in manufacturing to save time and money before buying expensive equipment.
  • It prints big components like brackets without adding additional weight, so they’re simpler to manage throughout setup without numbers getting in the way.
  • Faster turnaround times and lower costs associated with bigger projects are associated with producing designs using digital models rather than real tooling.


  • Companies have a hard time producing at a fair cost because of the limited quantity and poor pace of current machinery.
  • These machines may not be available in low-income areas, where the demand is greatest, so there is less potential than if they were available everywhere.

Similarities Between 3D Printing And CNC Machine

Neither the CNC machine nor the 3D printer are unrestricted by the tools at their disposal. These tools may be modified in size at any time.

They still find it difficult to alter tool sizes because of restrictions like service temperatures or material compatibility between plastic and metal.

Also, the two machines have a few things in common: they both work (to varying degrees) with a wide range of polymer polymers, and they both have temperature ranges where the process neither hurts nor improves the quality of printed items.

Critical Difference Between CNC And 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing techniques like 3D printing have more in common with subtractive methods like CNC machining than with additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing.

Instead of using a blade to cut through materials, the printer deposits layers of plastic filaments or powders, which can be quickly changed as required for new designs, saving both time and money on raw material expenses alone.

Also, because the devices are automated, you don’t have to leave your workstation to use them.

In this manner, you won’t get in the way of those who may not know what to do if anything goes wrong, since they can only go so far away from the machinery before things go awry.

With their smaller build volumes, the 3D printers in SLS and DMLS can’t handle huge items during printing.

On the other hand, CNC machining has the ability to handle components with additional smoothness, providing an efficient method for certain applications like car manufacture, where quick output is required but precise work is not required.

Compared to SLA/DLP printers, CNC machines are more efficient since they utilise fewer materials due to shorter wait times among jobs (and savings on energy costs).

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