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Rapid prototyping not synonymous with 3D printing

Graham Immerman
November 13, 2017

3D printing and rapid prototyping are discussed together to often that many people have come to think they mean the same thing. In fact, "3D printing is only one type of rapid prototyping, however, in a group of technologies that also includes CNC machining. CNC machining is sort of the flip side of additive manufacturing – it builds an object by milling away layers of material, rather than adding them on." MachineMetrics can help these machines work even more efficiently for you by giving real time analytics. 

WayKen Rapid Manufacturing Offers Precision CNC Machining for Custom Rapid PrototypingSource: http://3dprint.com

Rapid prototyping is a term that is used frequently when discussing 3D printing, and it would be easy to think that the two are synonymous. 3D printing is only one type of rapid prototyping, however, in a group of technologies that also includes CNC machining. CNC machining is sort of the flip side of additive manufacturing – it builds an object by milling away layers of material, rather than adding them on. The two technologies are frequently used side by side – literally, as several machines exist that combine a 3D printer with a CNC mill. Often, CNC machining is used as a way to finish a 3D printed part, trimming away the excess material. Read More

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