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Application of 3D printing in injection molding technology

3D printing is an incredible technology with huge potential; however, when it comes to mass production, it is better to use other processes such as injection molding. However, 3D printing is helping to broaden the capabilities of injection molding (IM), and you should be able to realize the potential it holds.
Material spray injection molding

Material spray molding (PolyJet, MultiJet molding, and Multi-Jet-Fusion) is one of the 3D printing technologies widely used in injection molding. Using an ABS-like resin, molds can be created for low-volume production (approximately 10–100 parts). Its main goal is to test the mold before manufacturing a fully functional device in order to predict defects and determine the appropriate specifications to be used during the injection process. Short-term injection molds can be manufactured with specific resins using SLA and DLP technologies.

Metal 3D printing and injection molding

Metal 3D printing, specifically using DMLS, SLM and EBM technologies, creates high-volume injection molding (IM) equipment. Due to the relative freedom in design, molds can be much more complex than can be made using traditional methods. Compared with traditional manufacturing tools, the cooling system of 3D printing molds has been greatly improved, and the injection-molded parts are cooled faster. The faster the injection-molded parts are cooled, the lower the cost and the production speed is greatly increased. This is why expensive 3D printing technology is a better and cheaper solution for mold manufacturing compared to CNC or EDM technology. Today, approximately 25% of injection molds are produced through 3D printing.

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