3D printing and injection molding may be vastly different processes, but both hold valuable places in manufacturing. Learn more in this handy guide!
3D printing and injection molding have a lot in common. Both are manufacturing processes meant to make a designer’s vision a reality as painlessly as possible, and both are great at producing prototypes or replacement parts, among many things. But although they get you the same result, they are vastly different processes.
First of all, 3D printing is an additive process. It manufactures objects by building them up layer by layer. You can watch this build process as it happens, which is useful when you’re testing a new design.
Injection molding makes use of molds (as you may have guessed from the name). First, an object’s inverse is carved out of a material that is safe to handle the molten build material (the material the finished object is made of). Then, the molten build material is poured into the mold. Once the material has cooled in the mold, the finished object is ready.
It’s important to realize the differences between these two processes in order to determine which works best for your application. That’s what we’re here for – so let’s dive in!
Both 3D printing and injection molding start with a digital 3D design. And while we’re in the design stage, below are a few different things that are needed for these two different processes.
3D printing is a great entry point into manufacturing, especially if you’re looking to print small amounts of intricate designs. Here’s what you need to know about 3D printing to help you decide if it works for your ideas.
Injection molding is a tried and tested manufacturing process. It’s got a lot going for it, but it’s not without its own issues to consider.
So, what have we learned about the distinctions between 3D printing vs injection molding? Basically, they’re two different ways to approach the same basic task – creating 3D objects. But because of their different strengths and weaknesses, their use cases are different.
3D printing is best for…
Injection molding is best for…
3D printing and injection molding are both excellent ways to make your creations come to life. Now go forth and create!
Feature image source: 3D Hubs
License: The text of "3D Printing vs Injection Molding – Know the Differences" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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