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Injection Molding Applications and 3D Printing – Do They Get Along?

by Nice Rapid | Feb 08,2021 | Plastic Injection Molding

When you are shopping around for workshops to get your manufacturing project done, it can be a tough choice to know how to go about it. While some parts require certain specifics, others can be done using multiple means. Injection molding applications are best suited for specific projects when it comes to high orders. With that said, we have to ask: does this process gets along with 3D printing?

It's a broad and excellent question which has a straightforward answer: it all comes to timing and the type of project you are looking to develop. There are moments when you can take the time and indulge in all the stages of manufacturing. After all, injection molding applications offer a full catalog of options. 3D printing, however, offers something very few manufacturing procedures can achieve when it comes to high-end finishes.

injection molding product

How Could I Know When it's the Right Time to Use Any of These Manufacturing Methods?

We break it down to the basics on each side to make our brief study simpler to digest: Injection molding applications and 3D printing are incredibly helpful on their own. You can get tons of parts made with injection molding, while 3D printing will give precisely what you want in terms of design. It makes sense to expect to be able to achieve success by using both.

 Let's see the pros and cons for each: with injection molding applications, you get a turnaround time on each project of nearly seven weeks, give or take. As we mentioned, this is best suited for large-scale production runs, and you need a finished prototype before getting started. Said prototype can be created using 3D printing technology, by the way!

With 3D printing, you'll have a faster turnaround on any project, with two weeks, give or take and depending on the workshop. This procedure is best suited for small-scale orders that demand no more than 100 pieces. 3D printing is also best suited to create small components since 3D printers take their time with each layer of the part they are building.

Let's Review Other Stages on Both Technologies

There is a lot to be said about each of these manufacturing methods. Our goal here is not picking a preference on our end. We are aiming to help you make an informed decision. As such, we can continue to discuss the matters related to them. The tooling design is something you need to take a good look before picking one of these. Tooling for injection molding applications is costly, mostly because it takes a lot of time to calibrate and prepare.

3D printing can be a bit more cost-efficient, but you need to consider the size of the product you are looking to sell. When it comes to customization, 3D printing takes the crown since all the process is done using software, and it can be tweaked mid-production to fix any issues. However, plastic injection requires a ton of prep time, and the finished prototype is the final result you'll get after the run is finished.

With these facts in hand, now you can make up your mind and choose what it's right for you. We wish you luck!

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