In recent years, designers and inventors alike have been keen to create their next part or product using metal 3D printing. With the latest advancements enabling a wider range of processes and materials that can be exploited with much greater speed and efficiency, metal 3D printing is all the rage. This is because it frees engineers to create complex, functional designs that would otherwise be unattainable using conventional means. But, is it the most practical solution for every application?
The alternative to metal 3D printing is of course conventional CNC machining. While CNC machining is viewed as a more traditional manufacturing method, it is also often the more cost-effective solution compared to metal 3D printing. Each process has its own unique benefits and limits. Thus, designers everywhere must be well informed in order to determine the right process and materials for each new project in their workflow. How can you determine the best method for your next metal project? Let’s explore.