3D printer is a kind of additive manufacturing, is through the superposition of materials to achieve the manufacture of objects; and CNC machine tools are subtractive manufacturing, through the abatement of materials to create objects.
First, let’s introduce CNC machine tools
CNC machine tools are a very mature manufacturing equipment, has been widely used in traditional manufacturing, while 3D printing is a new manufacturing theory, the technology is still in continuous development. Of course, in the pursuit of sustainable development of modern, 3D printing in the conservation of resources, resource utilization and other aspects have greater advantages, while in the manufacture of complex objects more efficient.
CNC machines need to be programmed in advance to shape objects through constant cutting. The working principle of 3D printers and CNC machine tools are similar, also based on computer instructions, but the difference is that it is through the layers of stacked raw materials to manufacture products. So 3D printing is also called “additive manufacturing”.
The workflow of a 3D printer
A prerequisite for a 3D printer to function properly is the input of a designed electronic blueprint or design file, which tells the 3D printer where to place the raw materials. Then, the 3D printer, guided by the design file instructions, first ejects a solid powder or molten liquid material, which cures into a special flat thin layer.
There is a very graphic analogy online to describe the difference between CNC machine tools and 3D printing, saying that the difference between them is the same as the difference between solid wood furniture and density board furniture.
In terms of metal cutting industry, I believe that the current or CNC machine tools to, after all, the current 3D printing for many need ultra-high precision equipment manufacturing enterprises are still missing the most important “precision”, I hope that with the continuous development of technology, 3D printing can one day catch up with the gap between the two.
From the control point of view
3D printer path generation than the traditional CNC machine tools to be simple. It is only necessary to generate the path for each layer. But the advantage of 3D printing is that it can quickly mold or shape a certain object.
3D printing is a field of technology that is highly dependent on materials and equipment, and much of the growth of the industry as a whole depends on finding materials that are less costly and easier to use. In the early stages of industry development 3D printing should do subtraction, focus on a few areas to focus on more development.
Also to use industrial means to solve the problem of personalization, so that the 3D printing industry into a normal industry, promising industry. For the CNC machine tool industry, the development of 3D printing technology may cause some impact on CNC machine tools, but look to the future, the benign competition between the two created by the technical results must be worth looking forward to.
Only the continuous emergence of new technologies to enable the development of society, 3D printing and CNC machine tools complement each other, will certainly make the manufacturing industry burst into a new life.