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Using 3D Printing for the Injection Molding Process

3D Printing for Injection Molding ProcessIn the world of injection molding, the amount of challenges that mold makers and part designers face can be overwhelming. Factors such as weld lines, air traps, balanced fill, and sink marks are just a small handful of issues that can be incredibly detrimental to producing a really good quality plastic part.
Many designers utilize different simulation tools to ensure quality, but there is no substitute for being able to hold and touch a physical part, however tooling an aluminum mold for a small volume of parts can be rather expensive and take a fair amount of time to create.  This is where many injection molders are utilizing 3D print their molds saving both time and money when producing low volume production parts and prototypes.

Utilizing Polyjet 3D Printing technology to create molds can be a great option under the right circumstances. These printers use a photopolymer to layer by layer build a molds core and cavity. The mold can be put into a mud base and injected with the actual material that the end use part will be made of. By doing this mold makers can produce parts that are high quality at a fraction of the cost. Granted these molds are not as durable as tradition injection molds but for low volume production 3D printed molds can be a major cost reduction tool.

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