Striking a Balance Between CNC Machining and 3D Printing While Dealing With Metal Parts

CNC Machining

Just like any other field, CNC machining combined with 3D printing services has significant importance while dealing with the manufacturing of parts and machines that are made of metal. With the excellent reputation of CNC machines producing accurate results within the shortest time possible, there are more advantages to combining these two services to the metal industry.

Metal manufacturing

An existing combination of the CNC machines and direct metal laser sintering, also known as DMLS, has proven how effective CNC and 3D can effectively work together. DMLS can produce any part shape using a laser beam and metal powder. CNC comes in handy since the metal laser is slower while making the shape. DMLS takes care of the geometry bit of the production while the CNC machining process brings about the speed. Most metal-based additives rely on CNC’s subtractive nature to finish up the milling of holes and adding of reams. The combination, therefore, improves accuracy and figuring of the components when needed for the end product.

Accuracy of metal parts

DMLS might create designs that might be unachievable to build, but with CNC, they are not entirely out of the limit. The metal laser takes part in heating and cooling the metal, making it possible to remove internal stresses when the need is to remove them. The removal of the internal stresses might lead to loss of some accuracy which then leads to the need to combine with CNC machine services to build a tighter tolerance.

Clean Completion of the DMLS parts

3D printing services don’t give a complete piece. It needs a clean finish that is mainly done by hand. The roughness is left by DMLS and designs that need a fine finish on the end mill and some parts where a tool might not reach. The features require secondary processing that includes machining. Sometimes there is a need to add a tab to the CAD model and print it directly to the part and later remove it after machining.

Removing supports from the machines

With DMLS, there is a need for them to have supports to keep the molten and semi-molten metal from drooping, ruining the design. The preferred method that gives a perfect finish is machining to remove the support, especially when more significant parts are involved.

Cutting of metals

DMLS prints the metals using a laser starting from the bottom; the machine will fuse one thin layer at a time. Once DMLS is done working on the metal, CNC picks up where it has been left off. CNC might cut the metals in large chunks to remove excess materials or do it in bits to attain a smooth finish.


DMLS can give a 3D print of the aerospace and medical metals even when different parameters are involved. Using a CNC machining system for cutting through those metals requires slow, steady and lighter depths of cuts. You can upload your CAD file to get a 3D printing instant quote if you don’t have a DMLS or the entire process does not require one.


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