This may seem like a no-brainer for many of you. But you’d be surprised how different the two methods of manufacturing really are.
I’m talking far outside the scope of needing to make a metal mold and pressing out stamped copies. I’m talking about the physical limitations of injection molding vs 3d printing.
You see, with injection molding, you have to have a mold. That mold always comes in 2 parts. And that mold has to be designed in such a way that you can pull apart the two halves and eject the plastic core.
Think for a moment about what that means.
That means you can only fabricate things that slide out of a mold. You can’t make anything that has a handle or a hook in it across more than one axis. Ever notice how your favorite coffee mug has a seam right along the handle? That’s because that’s the only way you can remove that shape from a mold after you’ve injected molten ABS, nylon, polyurethane or other plastic into the mold.
If there was another handle at just 0.1 degree away from 180 degrees, you wouldn’t be able to eject the plastic.
3d printing solves that problem. You can print any shape.
You can print objects that are impossible to produce in any other way. Sure, the manufacturing speed of a 3d printer is much slower than injection molding. But the simple fact remains that you can now make shapes that were impossible to make before today.
Think about what that means for technology, gadgets, medical surgeries, transportation, housing, and even fashion. The possibilities are amazing.