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How on earth do I move from 3D printing to Injection Moulding?

Posted by dailafing 
How on earth do I move from 3D printing to Injection Moulding?
January 23, 2015 10:16PM
After buying my 3D printer 3-4 months ago I created myself a solution to a home based problem, and decided to see if it would sell...
It did, and its starting to get out of control, and its all kinda exciting because I think I might just get rich if I play my cards right...
Now, to expand, I either buy an army of 3d printers, or consider moving to Injection Moulding.

I've done a little research on YouTube, google, and subsequently the fourms on Injection Moulding, but theres not a lot of small-time stuff.
My part is roughly 182x70x60mm, and is fairly "complex"... I've run it through Solidworks, and 5 of my "features" requires core parts since drafting would kill the feature.
The problem is to solve the problem of 5-6 hour prints... Even if it took a full 10 mins to make the part with Injection Moulding, then I'm making a big saving...

All the "desktop" or "Benchtop" Injection Moulding Machines are too small, weather with the amount of plastic it's capable of injecting is too low, or physically wouldn't fit the tool.

So, I'm looking for someone to tell me where to start in my studies...
I'm looking for, "what should I be looking for".... if that makes sense?

This could be a big business starter for me, and I'm dead excited, and will appreciate all positive pointers in the right direction.

Re: How on earth do I move from 3D printing to Injection Moulding?
February 02, 2015 08:17PM
Well done on creating something that is taking off.

Sometimes in injection moulds a core can be eliminated by continuing a feature through to the edge of the part.
So a closed hole in the side of a part would require a core but a slot opened to the bottom/top edge would not.
Complexity in moulds is usually associated with small internal radii and thin sections on the tool (remembering that the tool is the negative of the part so an external part radius is an internal tool radius).

PM me if I can offer more info.
Re: How on earth do I move from 3D printing to Injection Moulding?
June 13, 2015 09:41PM
You may be best to look at more than one piece or another method of forming your fortune. You don't have to do it yourself, and it would almost certainly be better and cheaper if you contract with production people than if you produce it yourself.

I do not think anyone would set 5 cores. People that understand the art of die casting would cast what they can, machine what they can't, find a way to add slides to the mold, split into pieces if they must.

If it was metal, it could be investment cast as one piece. depending on tolerance and complexity, you may still need to machine it. If it would not benefit from being metal, no need to go there though.

I do this for a living and it may surprise you how someone who works with the "design for manufacturing" train of thought for many years would do it.

Find out the cost to have it reliably done, set the price for profit, if it is still sellable, buy the tooling and go shop for a Corvette!

Find a reputable company, do the non-disclosure agreement thing and get quotes. It will be cheaper if you let them help you decide how to make it, than if you hold back and add cost that you don't need. I see it every day, good luck,

Re: How on earth do I move from 3D printing to Injection Moulding?
September 11, 2015 09:02AM
It might be wise to consider making a prototype mould, these usually are made from aluminum, are much cheaper than a steel mould but can produce well above 10.000 parts (compared to over a million for a steel mould).
One of the biggest and fastest distributors, who also has some useful information and an online quoting system, is protolabs.
Look here: [www.protolabs.co.uk]
They also offer the production of molded prototypes, so you don't have to look for a manufacturer or buy an injection molding machine yourself.
Good luck,

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2015 09:03AM by krosstoph.
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