3D printing is a relatively new technology, and with its rise, manufacturers of plastic goods are excited to explore the possibilities of manufacturing using the 3D printing process. But what are the capabilities of 3D printing? Can 3D printing replace injection molding entirely as a way of producing plastic parts?
This is where you have to be careful. While 3D printing is a brilliant and promising technology that has very useful applications in the manufacturing process, it’s not quite able to replace the standard injection molding process just yet. Learning about the differences between plastic injections molding and 3D printing can help you to get the most out of each process.
Plastic injection molding has been around for more than a century. Over the years, technology has developed. Many improvements were made throughout the twentieth century that allowed molders to produce more detailed parts of a higher quality. Everything from injection molding machines to the polymers used was changed and, subsequently, parts could be better suited to their final use. A versatility was born that has largely revolutionized the uses for plastic injection molding.
But in more recent years, plastic injection molding has no longer been the talk of the town for plastic part manufacturers. A lot of focus has shifted to 3D printing as a viable, affordable and versatile means of manufacturing plastic parts.
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