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Can You Use Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing to Build Injection Mold?

 

Injection molding is a widely used method to produce plastic parts. Injection molding is the number one option to produce plastic parts in high volume for a long time. There are a lot of products we use daily are produced by plastic injection mold. Injection mold used in injection molding process are made of metal which is costly and time consuming to produce.

 

Can 3D Printing Manufacturing help?

Injection molds dont need to be machined out of metal they can be built by additive manufacturing 3D printing. 3D Printing Manufacturing is a cost and time effective alternative to build aluminum mold. 3D printed parts are solid and isotropic. The 3D printing materials are available with a heat deflection temperature of up to 238. So, 3D printing injection mold is able to withstand the heat and pressure of injection molding process.


Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing

 

Additive manufacturing 3D printing technologies offered poor surface finish and precision in the past. So, 3D printing technology was mainly used in the prototyping phase. But as the technologies develop, 3D printer creates better surface. And the materials used in additive manufacturing 3D printing are more diverse. Additive manufacturing 3D printing reduces investment comparted to machined metal molds. It reduces cost deriving from materials. 3D printing manufacturing offer quicker turnaround time. And the design changes for additive manufacturing 3D printing is faster and cheaper. Additive manufacturing 3D printing makes it possible to create parts with complex geometries. With 3D printer, beginners are able to start their small volume manufacturing business.

 

Choose the right 3D printing material to make Injection Molds.

Although there is a wide range of additive manufacturing 3D printing material available. Not all of them are suitable for making injection mold. Injection molding process needs the mold to resist significant temperature changes. And the material used in injection mold should have resistance required. Injection molding process requires high precision and smooth surface from the molds to get tight tolerances, so the materials used should be able to shaped in to the high level of detail. For example, ABS is an ideal material to build 3D printed injection mold. ABS provides better impact resistant properties, high quality surface finish and resistance to high temperature.

 

3D Printing cannot always be used for Injection Mold making

Additive manufacturing 3D printing cannot always be used to build injection mold. It has some disadvantages. As effectiveness limitation of 3D printed injection mold is limited to low volume of batches. If running into large numbers of production, there will be a lot of work to end up without the expected reward. Compared to the materials used in traditional injection mold, 3D printing materials are less durable. So, the durability of the 3D printed injection mold is not good as the traditional injection molds.   

 

At TEAM Rapid, we offer different ways to improve the success when using additive manufacturing 3D printing to make injection molds. For example, we will help customers to make a perfect design to ease manufacturing process and use other suitable material to increase durability which offer support the mold. If you want to learn about using additive manufacturing 3D printing to build injection mold, contact us at sales@teamrapidtooling.com today.

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