Article | September 23, 2019

Navigating From Additive Manufacturing To Injection Molding

Source: Protolabs, Inc.

By Gus Breiland, Eric Utley

The precision and repeatability of industrial-grade 3D printing has established additive manufacturing as an effective and accurate process for functional prototyping. At the same time, plastic injection molding has long been a reliable and cost- and time-efficient way to produce parts for larger production runs of tens of thousands and beyond. As a result, engineers, designers, and product developers have found that these two processes work well together in the life cycle of a product, starting with the design-risk mitigation of 3D printing prototyping and then shifting to the manufacturing method of injection molding to ramp up for higher volumes.