3D PRINTING AND PLASTIC INJECTION MOLDING
1873s marks the beginning of the injection molding in manufacturing process.
1873s marks the beginning of the injection molding in manufacturing process. It’s oldest and common method when the first injection molding machine invented by John Wesley Hyatt. The rubber materials used to produce tiny parts at that time.
The popularity of plastic material started to gain after World War II, since that the modern technology like computer, automobile, machineries etc have introduced.
1930s marks the invention of modern plastic injection molding to produce high-quality complex plastic parts and components on a large scale. It has become the biggest part of modern economy to serve different kinds of high-volumetric products made of plastics.
How 3D Printing Use in Injection Molding?
Since 2005s, 3D technology has affected on the manufacturing industry as well. Different kinds of raw material use in 3D printing to build objects. Because it allows to design on computer-generated model file, and then convert to 3D printer. The model file made on computer turns into physical objects. Means, it prints molds for injection molding.
3D printing created huge possibilities for manufacturer, engineer, mold maker, and injection molder to print anything from computer-generated model file to create the final products. It is a manufacturing process with the help of a machine called, 3D Printer. A variety of materials can use in 3D printing, and the parts made from it are expensive. 3D printing has different types, includes different creation of layers.
Injection molding is a traditional, simple, and yet popular method used for mass production. A wide range of molten plastics can inject into the mold cavity, where it cools and hardens inside. Then the final finished products come out.
Usage of Steels or Aluminum
Molds used in the injection molding constructs using metals (steels or aluminum) and has lack of adaptability. But 3D printer can use any materials and offers flexibility and changes to the mold.
3D-printed injection molds intricate details in design with high temperature resistance, high stiffness materials, and high detailed features for successful manufacturing. Leading with careful design, it maintains dimensions, smooth surfaces, and accuracy of a mold to produce high-accurate dimensional parts.
Can 3D Printing Replace Injection Molding?
More than a decade now, there are a lot of promises of bringing more digital technology for future growth and global economy. We have almost taken a step to live with digital technology full of new challenges of change. Emerging innovation in every field are enabling the people to use smart devices, robotics objects, and increasing ability of machine that all linked with IoT (Internet of Things). Technology trends are still evolving in every field around the world.
It indicates that, advance technology (3D printing) in the plastic manufacturing industry may or may not replace injection molding. Because 80% of parts and products produce with variety of quality plastic materials are injection molded. Plastic molding method undertakes, depending on the quantity, quality, and cost of the desired products.
Plastic Parts Manufacturing
When it comes to manufacturing plastic parts, decision makes on the need and specification of projects. In view of the facts that the quantity, quality, and cost of a mold determine the size, material, and complexity of the product.
Comparing quality and quantity between 3D printed mold and injection mold, both helps in producing a variety of low-quality or high-quality parts and are able to make detailed finished products.
But, two process have different methods in runner system to maintain the accuracy of the products. Injection molding produce accurate parts faster than 3D printer. They have quality differences due to tolerance issues, 3D mold has great ability to tolerate tighter parts than injection molding.
When it comes to cost, 3D printing is expensive than injection molding. A single metallic mold fabricate to increase the quality and quantity of parts any time as required. It enhances long production in short time and made the entire process cost-effective at the end. 3D printer requires design on CAD model but doesn’t capable to produce many products. It takes much time to increase quantity compared to injection molding.
3D printing versus injection molding, there are huge possibilities for both in the nearest future. Nothing can say that the technology trends can dismiss the injection molding techniques because most of the plastic parts we see every day are injection molded. Therefore, it can decline the scope, depending on the global economy, industrial revolution, and the quantity, quality, cost of the desired products.