Injection Molding vs. 3D Printing

Today, 3D printing and injection molding are ideal for your project’s complex components and plastic parts. However, you may be unsure of the perfect manufacturing technique to consider, which can significantly affect your project. Knowing the difference and advantages of these procedures will help you make the right decision. Read on to learn more.

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Ideal Applications of Injection Molding vs. 3D Printing

Metal tool for injection molding products

Both injection molding and 3D printing are helpful procedures in the manufacturing process, but they also differ and produce different results. Injection molding is a traditional technique that uses a mold, usually filled with molten material that cools, to produce its final solid shape.

On the other hand, 3D printing is a value-adding printing procedure used to create objects by building up several layers of material. You only need a 3D file to produce a part in this process instead of creating a mold. You can decide to use 3D printing if you require a fast turnaround time of about 1-2 weeks, especially when working on rapid prototyping or designs with frequent changes. This process also produces small components and plastic parts, and it’s suitable for low production runs of 100 or fewer parts. 3D printing can be used for mold making, enabling light weighting of the mold, custom heat sinks, custom cooling lines and a fast turnaround time. It can also be used to prototype parts and components before proceeding in the injection molding process.

Injection molding has longer turnaround times of 5-7 weeks. However, this procedure is the most ideal for high-volume production of 1,000+ parts in each run. The mold tool also produces small and large parts of any complexity. 3D printing can also be used to prototype parts and components before proceeding in the injection molding process.

Advantages of Injection Molding

Advantages of 3D Printing

A boat being 3D printed

Partner with HARBEC for 3D Printing and Injection Molding

Both 3D printing and injection molding have their own differences and advantages. If you need large-volume production and less complex parts, you can opt for injection molding. However, you can get small batches of complex parts using 3D Printing. HARBEC has high-quality manufacturing solutions and the capacity to deliver the right outcome that suits every application. You can rely on our expertise to help you design your parts for a successful project. Reach out to us today for more details.

 

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