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3D Printing Injection Molds

3D Printing Injection Molds

3D Printing Injection Molds

3D printing is mostly associated with the direct manufacture of prototypes or parts, but it can also be useful for producing the molds and tools used in more traditional manufacturing processes. This article will take a detailed look at the various pros and cons associated with 3D printing the molds used in injection molding.

Why 3D print a mold?

The first issue to address is why you would choose to use 3D printing to create a mold rather than print directly or use a CNC machined mold. It all comes down to the specifics of the production run in question, and in particular the number of parts that need to be produced.

Injection Molds Prototyping vs. Small-batch Production vs. Mass Production

For large production runs there is no doubt that a CNC machined metal mold is superior. 3D printed molds are not particularly durable and even when using the strongest materials they generally won't last for more than 100 injections. In comparison, a metal mold can produce tens of thousands of parts before needing to be replaced.


  • Ma Qing Lu, Haicang Qu, Xiamen Shi, Fujian Sheng, China
  • Vistar (ProtoFab) 3D Printing