3D Printed Injection Mold Seminars Stress Economic Benefits
Most people would agree that nothing beats hands-on experience with new technology. Couple this with insights and best practices from the industry leaders and experts that helped develop and deploy those technologies, and you are likely to have a highly educational and formative event. This is exactly what happened when Stratasys teamed up with its reseller Fisher Unitech and Milacron to put together a joint event on 3D printed injection molding at Milacron’s facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio. Plastic manufacturers from all over the midwestern United States attended the recent event to hear, learn and see first-hand the potential time- and cost-saving benefits of 3D printed injection molds.
Stratasys 3D printing enables injection molds to be produced in digital ABS photopolymer plastic in just a few hours, compared to the several weeks required to create a mold with the same design using aluminum or steel. The plastic molds also cost a fraction of metal molds, resulting in savings of up to 95%. The plastic molds are used to test designs in final injected plastic materials prior to mass production using the final metal mold. If the design needs to be modified during the testing phase, another plastic mold can be 3D printed in just a few hours with minimal cost.
The focus of the event was on education – including training on the proper selection of injection molding machinery; an in-depth tour of Milacron’s extensive facilities and plastics industry innovations; an overview of the 3D printed injection mold process; and best practices for optimizing 3D printed injection molds.
Participants got to see actual injection molds 3D printed on a Stratasys PolyJet-based 3D printer and injected using a Roboshot 165-ton All Electric Injection Molding Machine (S150iA).
The first event was so successful that Stratasys, Milacron and Fisher Unitech are planning a second session. It will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at Fisher Unitech’s facilities in Schaumburg, Illinois.