Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Traditional manufacturing is being challenged with the advancement of additive manufacturing, or 3D Printing. Companies, inventors, and entrepreneurs are utilizing the benefits of 3D Printing to meet the ever changing needs of their jobs and products.
Innosek has put together a list of key benefits that could save you or your company tons of time and money with the replacement of early or final stage injection molding.
1) Ordering in Low Volumes
Having the ability to order more than a single unit is beneficial for anyone looking to develop, modify, and test a new or existing part or product. Injection molding multiple parts requires a separate mold for each, which is timely and costly. The speed and efficiency of additive manufacturing allows people to receive multiple pieces or versions faster than any traditional manufacturing would allow. Ordering in low volume allows for you to sample, test, and get your product to market or part in use quicker.
2) Allows for Multiple Product Changes
Injection molds on average cost $12,000 to have made, and when feedback comes in and product changes are needed you will find yourself spending extraordinary amounts of money and time creating new molds to account for these changes. With additive manufacturing this problem becomes obsolete. The quick turnaround time and low cost of 3D printing will allow you to test, collect feedback, identify and change as many variations needed for your final product. With 3D printing there is no initial overhead to have a product made as there is with injection molding.
3) On Demand Manufacturing vs Holding Large Inventory
Order what you need, as you need it! Startups, Inventors, and large companies all face inventory challenges, sitting on lots of dollars worth of inventory and products waiting to be sold. With additive manufacturing, you control your inventory levels and when inventory is needed it can be set up, printed, and in your hands in no time.
4) Cost Breaks with Increased Volume
3D Printing capabilities allow you to order any quantity of manufactured pieces your project or business needs. With injection molding, the initial cost is extremely high and at an average of 1,000 parts you will have a break even point competitive to 3D Printing. If you're looking to order and produce in smaller volume runs, 3D printing will be the most cost effective and efficient solution with its low upfront overhead.
5) Create Parts Too Complex for Injection Molding
When looking to turn the idea in your head to an actual product or part, the complexity of your part can determine which manufacturing route to take. Parts and products that have complex or organic shapes, angles, and dimensions are best and most efficiently made using through 3D printing versus injection molding.
What are some benefits that you find in 3D printing in comparison to injection molding?
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