3D printing has become increasing popular over the last several years. It also has become more affordable. Now, in-home 3D printers are available, and while these devices typically produce basic designs, technology is there to improve print capabilities. Due to this, many are wondering whether or not 3D printing will serve as the demise of plastic injection molding. To dissect this question, it is necessary to look at both at the present and the future of 3D printing technology.
Current 3D Print Trends and the Impact on Plastic Injection Molding
3D printers have come a long way. While it is not yet as staple of households everywhere, designers and simply those who are interested in the products and capabilities have started to purchase the technology. Entry level 3D printers now cost just a few hundred dollars, and while extremely elementary, it offers a foothold into the design option. Many products are now being built by home printers, allowing consumers to construct their very own products. The medical community has also started to take advantage of 3D printing. Dentist offices produce 3D renderings of teeth for implants and medical facilities can produce a variety of items in house. This cuts down on production time and the cost of outsourcing, although the means is still a bit limited. In the immediate future, plastic injection molding is safe.
Future 3D Print Trends and the Impact on Plastic Injection Molding
The technology is improving at a rapid rate, which means more and more businesses and consumers will be able to produce their own products. Currently, 3D printers are not able to replicate the short production time as injection molding, which is really what is what offers the largest benefit. Should 3D printing time improve to rival injection, the industry could see a production drop-off.