Prototyping Showdown: 3D Printing vs. CNC Machining [VIDEO]

There are so many different ways to prototype and manufacture physical products, and at times, the list of materials and processes can feel daunting even for the most experienced engineers.

At Fictiv, we're working to give people more streamlined access to the best fabrication technology available. We're also dedicated to helping engineers learn which fabrication technology is best for each project, along each stage of development.

So on June 29th, we explored the pros and cons of using 3D printing vs CNC machining for hardware prototyping, hosting a panel of three industry experts to guide the discussion: Scott Steber, Director of Engineering @ design collaboratory Radicand, Abby Soong, Mechanical Design Engineer @ Momentum Machines, and Rafi Ajl, Senior Designer and mentor @ hardware incubator Highway1. Some of the highlights from the discussion include:

  • Insight on when to make the switch from one technology to the other
  • Considerations on specific materials and machines by technology
  • Predictions around the impact these technologies will have on the future of manufacturing
  • The magic number "7"...

Check out the video below for the full panel discussion and if you have further questions about prototyping your product, drop us a line at or create a Fictiv account to get started!

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