About 3-D Printing & Why Injection Molding is More Viable

3-D printing and injection molding are two processes used to manufacture plastic products. In this post, we will be talking about the latest manufacturing innovation in the plastics industry – 3-D printing. Let us take a look at it and compare it to the fail-safe – injection molding.

The Case for 3-D Printing

3-D printing is an additive manufacturing process used to manufacture products using several materials like plastic, metal, sand, etc. However, this post will be pertaining to 3-D printing in relation with plastic materials only.

is easy to use, and requires lesser number of workers. The products can be customized with ease as well. It has the capability of producing simple plastic parts.

The Case against 3-D Printing

Although 3-D printing has found many adopters in the small-scale business arena, they are still to convert the larger companies. This is because of four main reasons:

  • Cost

Firstly, the machines that are capable of producing intricate components are very expensive. Secondly, manufacturing products on a mid to large scale is also expensive.

  • Time

The manufacturing process is time consuming, which has a direct effect on the cost of the product. It also makes it impractical for large orders or orders that need to be fulfilled in a short time period.

  • Accuracy

3-D printing fails to provide the level of accuracy provided by injection molding.

  • Material Compatibility

The raw materials that can be used for 3-D printing are limited in number.

In conclusion, it is obvious that injection molding is the favorable method for plastic product manufacturing.  Although 3-D printing is an option one can consider, it is still not a completely viable. Just like any other product in its nascent stages, 3-D printing still needs to be perfected in some ways to be used for large-scale manufacturing, especially for critical applications. 3-D printing can be used for smaller production runs like prototyping. For mid-size and large orders, injection molding provides more accurate and economical results.