CNC Machining & Injection Molding: What is the Difference?

CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing method that eliminates or removes material from a workpiece and gives it the desired shape. Computers control the process and the design is instructed using a CAD or CAM model.



Injection Molding is a manufacturing method where the molten metal is injected into a mold, and then a cooling or solidifying process is applied to create the final part.


The process is very similar to die casting. Although in die casting, metal elements are used as raw material, and in injection molding, plastic or polymer is the primary material.

How Sunrise Metal Help You with the Best Solution?

Sunrise Metal is your one-stop solution for all kinds of metal end products. Our wide range of services include:



For any kinds of metal parts or prototypes, you can put your trust in our hands. Sunrise Metal ensures that you get your desired products or parts precisely as you wanted or according to your design.

Not only in production, but our team is always ready to help you even before and after shipping the order as well. If you’re an OEM/ODM company with custom parts requirements, be assured that you will get not only get the best quality parts but our premium service and years of experience as well.


At Sunrise Metal, we welcome all low volume, medium volume, or high volume orders. So if you’re looking for a premium quality supplier for low-volume parts, you’re in the right place.

And if you require high-volume parts at an affordable cost, Sunrise Metal can be the perfect choice for you.


CNC Machining and Injection Molding: Which One is Right for You?

CNC Machining and Injection Molding both are great ways of manufacturing quality parts. But it all depends on your design, material, and requirements. If you’re ordering for the first time, you might be confused about which one to choose to get the best results.

Check the factors below to understand what to consider while choosing either of these manufacturing processes:



Before choosing any method, the first thing you need to consider is your design. If your parts require a dynamic design that needs to be changed frequently, injection molding is not a great choice for you.

Because creating a mold for any part requires heavy cost and time investment. Which is suitable for bulk orders but not for low volume orders.

design-for-manufacturing in Sunrise Metal


Other than that, the complexity of your design is a considering factor as well. CNC machining offers great flexibility to design. It allows you to manufacture very complex designed parts. For instance, overhangs, large walls with no drafts and variable wall thicknesses.

At the same time, injection molding is good for some particular designs as well. Like living hinges, square holes and deep features are done well with this process.


Order Quantity

The volume of your order plays a vital role in this matter. If you have a large order quantity, choosing injection molding might be a great choice for you in terms of multiple factors. And if the order quantity is low, then CNC machining is a great option to consider.



Tolerance can be a great factor to consider before you order. If you need a part with high tolerance, CNC machining is the way to go. Injection molding is a great way to manufacture parts but it can’t offer tolerance as high.

Production Time

The lead time of these two methods varies significantly from each other. The volume of your parts plays a role here as well. If your order is low and you need them fast, CNC machining is the only way.

But, when you’re ordering bulk amounts, the injection molding process can be faster in the long run. As creating a mold is time-consuming, the initial time invested in this process is huge. But the actual process is faster than the machining.




When you’re ordering parts for prototyping and the design is not final yet, you should choose CNC machining for sure. Because the other method is not suitable for low volume production at all.

CNC tools only require a CAD/CAM design to continue. On the other hand molding process requires a mold to set up before you start to manufacture even a single item. Which requires time and money.


When you order low volume orders, CNC Machining will save you cost. As you don’t need to invest in creating a mold. On the other hand, if you’re ordering in bulk, injection molding can be a great choice too. Because once you have the mold ready, the injection molding process is relatively cheaper than machining.



The material you choose to use is also important to decide the manufacturing method. With CNC machining, you get a wide range of options for materials. On the other hand, the injection molding process has limited options to consider.


Surface Finishing

CNC machining offers better surface finishing than injection molding. When better surface finishing is a priority, you should consider choosing CNC machining for your parts.


Things to Consider Before Choosing CNC Machining or Injection Molding


Before choosing either of these methods for manufacturing your parts, you need to have a final and clear design at your hand. Because the design plays a significant role in choosing the right method.


Make sure to consult with your manufacturer or supplier about your design and requirements, before placing the order or choosing your manufacturing method.


Select the right material for your application too. Because not every product can be used for injection molding and the same goes with the CNC machining as well.

Consider the material to be used and then according to the material, you should finalize the manufacturing method.



Choosing the right manufacturer can be hard if you’re ordering for the first time. Make sure you’re finding the best manufacturer who can serve you in different ways. Check the expertise and experience of any manufacturer before you place the order to them.

If you’re looking for a world-class manufacturer with an affordable cost, Sunrise Metal is the perfect choice for you. We offer a one-stop solution to our clients. Our expert team of engineers will guide you throughout the process and before and after that as well.

sunrise-metal-die-casting factory



CNC machining and injection molding are both great ways to manufacture quality parts. Depending on your application and requirements, now it should be easy for you to choose the right one.

If you still have questions and want a free quote from Sunrise Meta, please feel free to contact us today. We’re always happy to serve with any assistance you may require.


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