3 D Printing VS Plastic Molding Process- Which is Better?
Posted: Sep 11, 2021
When it comes to manufacturing complex plastic components, 3D printing and plastic injection molding are often used. These technologies are advanced, competitive, and highly-recognized in the plastic parts manufacturing world.
If you are an OEM or plastic supplier and wonder whether to choose 3D printing or plastic injection molding, you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will tell you an actual difference between them.
3D printing technology is a fantastic alternative to plastic injection mold design. But, this technique is only used to manufacture simple design based plastic parts. Compared to injection molding, the capacity of 3D printers is relatively lower.
What is the plastic injection mold process?
A plastic injection molding process is required to manufacture complex plastic parts at a large volume.
This process manufactures plastic parts by using material like thermoplastic or polycarbonate. The manufacturer put these materials into a molding machine where they are melted and heated. After they move into the cavity where they will solidify, the part is ejected from the machine.
What is 3D printing?
The 3D printing process is used to produce plastic parts from a three-dimensional digital model. It is a highly advanced, inexpensive, and fantastic technique to produce plastic parts rapidly.
It’s an incredible technique to develop an on-off prototype. If your budget and production are low, then 3d printing is the best option for you.
However, this technology is still in a developing state and requires advanced features. But you can use this technology to produce for low volume production runs.
A Quick Comparison Between 3D Printing and Plastic Injection Molding
Efficiency: If you need a simple design based 1-10 plastic parts, then 3d printing tool is an ideal option for you. If your production rate is high, like ten thousand parts, then injection molding can do this.
Hence, the efficiency of producing plastic parts of injection mold is relatively higher than 3d printing.
Convenient: 3D printing is very convenient. You can easily design the parts from scratch with this tool. But large volume prototype production would be easily possible through injection molding.
Tooling design is one of the most complicated and time-consuming parts of plastic injection molding. Here 3D printing has taken the opportunity by creating a tool during prototyping that saves development time.
Cost: Compared to injection molding, 3D printing cost per product is low. When developing a product, you need to design the prototype part itself; which is the fast and last process of 3d printing. Once you design a prototype, you can create identical products effortlessly. But, in plastic injection molding Belgium, it is the first step. Next, you need to design an injection mold tool, which is an expensive process. After that, you need to order an actual injection mold cycle.
3D Printing is Best- Suited for-
- Low production units.
- Simple prototype designing.
- Designs with frequent changes.
- To make 10 prototypes, it can take 1 week at least.
Injection Molding is Best- Suited for-
- High volume production units.
- This technique usually takes 5-6 weeks to produce 1000 plus plastic parts.
- Parts of any design and complexity.
For sure, plastic moulding manufacturers is for the suppliers who need plastic parts in the large volume. If you think this approach suits you, then get in touch with us right now.
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