3D printing needs to mature before it is considered an alternative to injection molding for large-volume production jobs
Product developers and engineers who design and manufacture plastic parts now have a powerful new weapon in their arsenal: 3D printing. This disruptive technology has great promise for rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacturing, but is it ready to replace high-volume plastic injection molding using dedicated metal tools and dies?
The short answer: 3D printing is better used as a complement to plastic injection molding rather than as competition, though that may change. Here’s where we currently stand and what the future may hold.