How Big Can You Print in 3d vs. CNC

I have a large part I would like to get made and I would like to know the size limitations of 3d printing and CNC machining. Can anybody help? My part is around 36 x 24 and about .25 in thick. Thoughts?

for 3d printing you would probably have to break the part into pieces and then reassemble it. Keeping in mind you need to design the cuts as some type of joint so when you piece it back together it is strong.

CNC their are many machines that can handle that size but it depends on the complexity of the part…

so it depends…

Can you share a pic?

CNC is nearly unlimited. I’ve got 2 machines in my shop that can do 6’x10’ and up to 5" depth - 3-axis.

There are monster 5-axis machines out there, too.

So, 36" x 24" x .25" is quite small.

Those dimensions are practically begging for CNC. In fact 3D printing is at its worst aesthetically when doing broad, relatively flat pieces, because the build layers stand out that much more.

Try these guys, Midwest Composite in Wisconsin:

They have you covered on either version. They have an FDM that reaches 24"x36"x24" and a CNC mill that can make parts 10’x23’x5’

If you really want to go for the additive manufacturing solution, you can also try to find someone with the ProX 950 made by 3D systems.
Build volume is 1500 x 750 x 550 mm (59 x 30 x 22 in),

Hey all,

Thanks for the help. Sorry for the lack of response. I’d like to show a pic but it’s confidential because of the proprietary use. It is fairly detailed. Is there a limit to the amount of detail?

No pics!!!?!?!? I was in the market to steal a giant flat something or other but I guess I will have to find something else.

For either process, no, not really. The additive machines will be limited by their build resolution but that will mostly hurt small features. Considering the size of your part it seems that you may not have too many small features. The milling machine will not be much bothered by feature size either but it will come down to how stable your component can be held in place and what material you use.

Lol. Thanks. I’ll start looking into CNC. Seems like that will be the best option for me.


Does anybody know a source for getting something additively printed for the size I’m looking for? It seems like that ProX 950 will get the size I’m looking for.

3D systems and Quickparts are the same company. It seems logical that you could get the part through Quickparts. If not, call the other hand and see where they have sold the machines.