prototype machining in Missouri


When it comes to rapid prototyping, you have many options that take a design from simple concept to reality. Many manufacturing businesses have the choice between either 3D printing (otherwise known as additive manufacturing) or the tried-and-true method of CNC machining (otherwise known as subtractive manufacturing). Each certainly have their advantages, but we are here to tell you the reasons why CNC machining is the better option for many different applications.

Whether you require a small component or larger part, nothing is too complicated or too complex for our experienced staff and our state-of-the-art equipment and our standard and multi-axis CNC machining ability. Contact us today to get started on a quote for CNC prototyping.


What is Subtractive Manufacturing (i.e. CNC Prototyping)?

Subtractive rapid prototyping is a process in which 3D objects are constructed by removing material from a larger piece of material. CNC machines are typically used to do this by using software embedded in a microcomputer that controls multiple tools to cut around up to 5 axes, including the x, y, and z axes. Think of it like Michelangelo chiseling off pieces of marble to create the Statue of David— but 100% faster and the ability to create thousands of David statues in a short amount of time.

The finished part in subtractive manufacturing has a solid composition, as opposed to additive manufacturing that results in a layered composition. CNC prototyping is ideal for product testing because of its high structural integrity, which allows for an accurate analysis of the part’s durability and viability since it is made from the same material that will be used to manufacture the part.

What is Additive Manufacturing (i.e. 3D Printing)?

Additive manufacturing is a process in which 3D objects are constructed from model data by fusing materials (like liquid resins) together in layers. In comparison to CNC turning and milling processes, which dates back as far as the Egyptians, 3D printing is a relatively new process that might be useful for prototyping but is not fast or affordable enough and, therefore, not viable for mass producing just yet.

Why You Should Choose CNC Prototyping

You should choose CNC prototyping for its simplicity. When you create a finished prototype, you want it to get to market as quick as possible, right? 3D printing—while useful for making a one-off prototype—does not have the capacity yet to support ongoing long-run production for large OEMs. CNC machining allows you the simplicity of making the prototype and then moving into production in quick succession, all in one place.

Here are the other benefits of choosing CNC prototyping over 3D printing for prototypes:

  • Fast, accurate results – CNC machines can not only produce parts in a matter of minutes to hours, but they also have had many technological advancements throughout many years in service. This means that they are becoming more and more precise in order to meet the strictest specifications.
  • Easy to modify – Because of CNC’s computer programming, modifying the design and telling the computer to create a newer, more enhanced product is easier than ever. In fact, working with experienced CNC machining experts, like those at Roberson Machine Company, means that you can benefit from their consultation on refinements and enhancements to improve your first prototype version into a more efficient and effective design, allowing you to reach the market faster.
  • Cost effective – CNC machining has been around for a long time with many established machining companies around the nation. Working with an experienced CNC machining company that provides prototypes on a consistent basis can minimize costs while never sacrificing quality.

Contact Us for CNC Prototyping Services

If you are ready to move forward with your prototyping project, CNC machining is the way to go, and an experienced CNC prototype company can help you achieve the results you desire. At Roberson Machine Company, we have the skills and resources to produce large volumes of high-grade parts and components according to tight deadline and tolerance requirements. You can benefit from receiving exceptionally machined parts delivered on schedule to help you fulfill any project. To find out more about our prototyping services or to request a quote, call us at 573-646-3996.