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Posted by: 15. May 2012

Additive Manufacturing or Low-Volume Injection Molding?

 

What is the most effective process for producing a short run of plastics parts? Is low-volume injection molding better, such as molding with an aluminum core and cavity, or is the better approach to generate the parts directly through additive manufacturing?

 

The answer depends on various factors, says Jeff Hanson, manager of business development with RedEye On Demand (a Stratasys company). Injection molding permits tight tolerances, smooth surfaces and the full range of molded material options. Injection molding with a rapidly manufactured tool is also the more effective choice for the higher end of low-volume quantities.

 

However, additive manufacturing shines when any of various other factors are key. If the part geometry is complex, if revisions to the part design are likely, or if the parts are required on an on-demand basis, then building the parts directly on an additive machine is likely to make more sense. Learn much more about the comparison between these processes in this video presentation.  

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