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3D Printing, CNC Machining or Injection Molding


3D printing, injection molding and CNC machining are methods if you want to create a first prototype or start a short production run. Those technologies encompass several process. Take quantity, material properties and cosmetics and cost in account, you can greatly simplify the decision between 3D Printing, CNC machining and injection molding.

Injection Molding


The number of parts your want is the biggest factor when you are choosing between these three technologies. If your quantity is several thousands, injection molding is the best. But, it is less cost-effective for lower quantities. If your quantity is ten or twenty per year, then, CNC machining or 3D printing is an ideal choice of the material properties and cosmetics are suitable to your parts. Injection Molding parts involves s setup and production cost for the mold. So if you only need ten parts at a time, you would better to choose other method as your final cost will include the mold cost itself. 3D printing is obviously a cost-effective way for the quantity up to about 50 and CNC machining is economical for quantity up to about 200.


It is always worth considering your upfront budget. Injection mold is more cost-effective with a more substantial budget. Injection mold starts at $1,000 for the simplest parts what don’t have side action or complicated mold design. At TEAM Rapid, our standard delivery day is 15 working days or less and we have turned around injection molds in as little as one day.


This suggests that time is less of a factor than you might think when deciding between CNC Machining, 3D printing and injection molding for your prototype. Instead, consider how your product will be manufactured and work backwards from there. The advantage of starting with injection molding is you’ll already have a backup mold in case your production tooling wears out.


Contact us at as early as possible. As long as you have your first 3D CAD, even if it’s a draft, we will get it into our system and talk to engineer. You can just simply upload a 3D CAD file of your design directly to our website for manufacturability analysis and an interactive quote. There’s also no cost or commitment upfront. All of our quoting is free of charge.

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