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Will 3D Printing Be the Death of Plastic Injection Molding?

Some observers of the plastics making sector, particularly those with a beneficial interest, want to have you believe that 3D printing is going to be the demise of injection molding. While there are certainly cases where 3D printing makes sense, the records of the death of injection molding have been considerably exaggerated.

Plastic injection molding is a reliable approach of manufacturing that is in no threat of going away anytime soon. It is a basic, reliable approach of creating top quality plastic parts. Regardless of recent enhancements in the innovation of 3D printing and those likely to emerge in the future, the truth is that greater than 80% of plastic components made use of in items today need to be injection built.


David Kazmer, Professor of Plastics Design at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, stated in a released paper that 3D printing presently makes sense for the most quick “procurement time to amount” for a small quantity of 50 or fewer systems. For manufacturing runs, injection molding is still the best production approach, particularly considering the lengthy manufacturing time included for 3D printing compared to injection molding.

Will 3D Printing Be the Death of Plastic Injection Molding?

There is an emerging “crossbreed” method of 3D publishing the mold and mildew tooling inserts only, after that producing the get rid of Plastic Injection Molding. For certain minimal applications, 3D printed inserts can be used as an examination mold and mildew for product advancement and very limited amounts. A 3D published mold and mildew might last for typically just 60 to 180 pieces. Kazmer’s study checked out where 3D published tooling inserts could match the huge picture, and wrapped up that there were still considerable problems with both metal inserts surface area finish and maker expense and polymer inserts.


The overall cost of a 3D published part compared with an injection built part is connected to the quantity being generated, thinking the previously mentioned quality issues do not preclude 3D printing as an option from eviction. In the research at Lowell, the expense of 3D printing 300 of a specific dimension component was $20 each. The piece cost of injection molding a million such systems with a steel mold was just $1.13 each.