Unless mass produced items diminish due to either reduced consumption or a widespread and unprecedented decrease in the appetite for mass customization 3D printing will not be taking over the world of Plastic Injection Molding manufacturing.
Plastic Injection Molding & Manufacturing is used for massive industrial production pumping out millions of the same product, extremely quick and accurate to meet market need and demand.
3D printing can speed up the design process and is widely used by industrial designers. Outsourcing a prototype may take days or weeks while using 3D printer takes only hours and the costs are much lower. Additionally designers are able to make multiple concepts based on these models and catch flaws in an early stage.
3D printing still remains slower than conventional manufacturing, it is reasonable to anticipate that 3D printing will probably extend each of its current niches and almost certainly find itself a few more, but large scale manufacturing can be expected to thrive.
Here are 28 reasons why 3D printing isn’t expected to take over mass production any time soon.
- 3D Printing is an agonizingly slow operation
- 3D Printing specializes in niche applications
- 3D Printing has an extremely low throughput per station
- 3D Printing is hard to scale
- 3D Printing mostly produces small items
- 3D Printing is unsuited to volume production
- 3D Printing mostly produces plastic-only products
- 3D Printing has a limited range of fabrication materials
- 3D Printing produces mostly low precision output
- 3D Printing produces mostly fragile, low durability products
- 3D Printing produces mostly single fabrication material products
- 3D Printing is mostly only for products with no moving parts
- 3D Printing has mostly a low quality surface finish
- The highest spec 3D printers are still dramatically lower throughput than conventional production line equivalents
- The cheapest 3D printers can make small, decorative knick-knacks, but not much else
- 3D Printing is great for educational and hobby use
- 3D Printing is great for making cheap toys
- 3D Printing has serious cost issues on almost all large-scale applications
- 3D Printing has unresolved technical problems on most fronts
- 3D Printing is really only suitable for DIY or small startup usage
- 3D Printing’s only serious design role is prototyping
- 3D Printing ‘s only serious production role is for making molds
- 3D Printing is best suited to the desktop, not factory operation
- 3D Printing are like CNC and robotics they are very niche
So even the fastest 3D printer today is still slower than traditional manufacturing. But on the other side, 3D printing does have some advantages:
- 3D Printing provides less waste
- 3D Printing offers new shapes and structures
- 3D Printing provides new combinations of materials
- 3D Printing reduces development costs
- 3D Printing speeds up the time to market
- 3D Printing offers endless customization
- 3D Printing provides high precision
- 3D Printing has embedded electronics
Since 1946 PM Plastics, has remained a family-owned and operated full-service plastic injection molding U.S. contract manufacturer. We have been proudly manufacturing plastic injection molded plastics parts and products for over 70 years. The products we manufacture are found in your home, office, factories and plants and stores and are used by people of all ages. Bcause of our 70 years of experience with plastic tooling and injection molding our engineers can help with a part design for manufacturability as well as meeting the structural and design requirements for its intended use.
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