Injection Molding vs 3D Printing

Earlier last year, we discussed 3D printing. Though it has been around for quite a while, the new printing technique has only been a player in the public consciousness for about five years.

In that time, the public’s perception of what 3D printing can do has eclipsed the process’ actual capabilities. And with more recognition come more inquiries — everybody wants to explore 3D printing as an option for their next project, and are eager  to want to move on from more traditional methods, such as injection molding.

3D Printing and Injection Molding

The two processes are similar — they both primarily produce parts and components from plastic, and they are both capable of high degrees of geometric complexity. However, there are important differences as well.

One of the more appealing aspects of 3D printing is the absence of steep initial costs. Because of its need for specially tooled dies, the creation of which is an expensive process, injection molding requires considerable initial costs. Though imposing at first, these startup costs are amortized over the lifespan of the die and the production run — in high volume injection molding projects, the startup costs are amortized over more individual parts, leading to a relatively low per-part cost.

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Why Consider Outsourcing Your Plastic Injection Molding

Manufacturing plastic injection molded components in-house as part of an end product can prove to be a major challenge from an efficiency, quality and cost perspective. Over the years, Rodon has garnered many of our largest customers who were doing their best to manufacture their injection molded components in-house but found the process to be problematic and inefficient.

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3 Case Studies for Custom Plastic Injection Molding

At Rodon, we manufacture billions of parts every year and have done so since 1956.  We are proud to have earned a reputation for being one of the best in the industry, offering high-quality, low-cost solutions. When businesses have a need for high volume, high tolerance, intricate parts, they turn to custom plastic injection molding

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Plastic Injection Molding 101: Choosing the Best Resin Material

The number of polymer compounds has grown over the past 20 years.  As a result, plastics are being used in more applications than ever before.  These materials are gaining a reputation for strength and endurance.  Combine these improvements with the advantages of corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal and plastics are taking center stage in the manufacturing of many consumer and industrial components.  Due to their versatility, strength and light weight characteristics, plastics are also taking a larger role in the transportation, medical and construction industries. 

Here are five requirements to keep in mind when choosing your resin:

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Top 12 Manufacturing and Plastic Industry Blogs to Follow

There is an enormous amount of content out there for us to read every day. Figuring out which of it is worthwhile of your time isn't an easy task. If you are looking to stay up-to-date, blogs are rich with helpful, educational and useful information and tips.   We hope you enjoy reading our blog and that we can help keep you informed on the topics of plastic injection molding, manufacturing and STEM careers.  

Below we've compiled 12 other manufacturing and plastics industry blogs (along with their Twitter names) to consider following on a weekly (or even daily) basis. Some of them are industry favorites, while others are our personal favorites. Let us know what you think and if you have others you'd add to our list. (If you're not a regular subscriber to our blog, please consider doing so by filling out the brief form just to the top right of this post.)

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[eBook] An Introduction to Plastic Injection Molding

Our eBook "An Introduction to Plastic Injection Molding" was developed with designers, engineers and purchasing specialists in mind.  It is written to provide a basic understanding of plastic injection molding presses, processes and costs.  Our goal is to make our visitors and customers more knowledgeable about what goes into making a plastic part. 

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The Importance of Design Engineering in Plastic Injection Molding

Before you can manufacture a plastic part you need to have a solid design in place. Once done, you can build an injection mold to meet the product specifications. 

The role of the Design Engineer is critical in this process. They assess the part design and make modifications and recommendations based on key product requirements including product usage and function. The engineer will need to know:

  • How will the part be used? Is it a standalone product or a component of a larger assembly?
  • What are the dimensional and tensile requirements?
  • Does the part need to withstand elements, pressure, chemicals?

A plastic injection mold design is built with these criteria in mind. Mold cavities, vents and gate placement will vary based not only on the part design but the type of resin as well. Taking all of these manufacturing factors into account is a challenging task and one that requires a strong knowledge base, not only of mold design but the injection molding process as well.

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Plastic Injection Molding: Design to Part II

In our last article on “Design to Part”, we focused on the importance of product function, the end-use application of a part and its impact on the final manufacturing process. We discussed the importance of providing details on the products function. 

These details include:

  • What elements will the part be exposed to?
  • What are the specific tensile requirements?
  • What chemical or corrosive materials does the part need to withstand?
  • What are the cosmetic characteristics of the part?
  • How long should the part last?
  • Does the part need to meet RoHS, FDA, REACH or other regulatory requirements?

In this article, we will discuss how the product function translates to the manufacturing process. 

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Plastic Injection Molding: Design to Part

The concept of “Design to Part” is nothing new.  It is the manufacturing cycle of any product. But the journey from developing a product concept to a final part involves understanding the product function as well as its manufacturability.

In this three part series on “Design to Part”, we will begin by looking at product function and the role it plays in creating a finished plastic injection molded part.

Product Function

Plastic injection molding professionals obsess over the end-use application of a part. Very often they are responsible for making only one component of a final product. It is important to know what role the component part will play in the completed product. Without having this knowledge, you can almost guarantee part failure.  



Download our new eBook “How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part” and learn the four key factors that impact plastic part quality

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