3D Printing and Injection Molding : The Comparision


What do we understand by injection molding?

It is a manufacturing process which is often used for making production parts. In this process a molten material is injected into the molds. A vast variety of materials can be used in injection molding like metals (for which the process is called die-casting), glasses, elastomers, confections, and most commonly thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. The material is heated into a barrel and then left in a mold cavity for a while to sit and harden. After some period of time the hot and liquid material hardens to take the exact shape of the cavity and that is how the outline of a product is formed.

A injection molding usually has three parts the injection unit, the mold and the clamp, these three components are extremely integral as they set the tune for the entire molding process. Once a designer drafts the design of a certain product which needs to be put up for production, a mold is made of the shape that has been designed by the designer(this mold is usually made up of steel or aluminum). The usage of injection molding has been proved to be extremely useful for Mass production, especially for producing intricate parts of cars.


Image- injection molding machine



Uses of injection molding-

  • This process helps in the production of several important components such as-

-wire spools

– packaging

-bottle caps

-automotive parts and components


-pocket combs

-some musical instruments (and parts of them)

-one-piece chairs

-small tables

– storage containers

-mechanical parts

  • Injection molding is a very common procedure which is used in making plastic components.
  • This process holds a lot of importance in automobile and locomotive industry.

There’s plethora of advantages to ponder upon when it comes to these two techniques, in the next section we will be discussing about the difference between 3D printing and injection molding alongside how they are useful in prototyping.



 Basic difference between 3D printing and injection molding-


  • Injection molding is a traditional manufacturing technique in which mold materials are injected into molds to create certain parts of a product, where as 3D printing is comparatively a modern additive manufacturing process which only requires a 3D printing file and a suitable software to perform a production process.
  • Technologies like this cannot be used without any special equipments, for example, we require special molds, heating unit and a ram to operate an injection molding process. Making the molds for injection molding can sometimes be extremely costly, as it can be truly expensive to recreate molds each time.
  • This sort of issue generally does not occur in case of 3D printing.
    • professional 3D printers, such as SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printers might be an expensive investment for a company but it a great investment for a long run.
    • 3D printing service such as Sculpteo, giving you access to 75+ combinations of 3D printing materials and finishing which is a great deal for prototyping and mass production as it provides a vast combination to choose from under the same roof.
    • 3D printing is perfect to make iteration. For a long time, additive manufacturing was considered a rapid prototyping technique.
  • Although we know that injection molding is pretty expensive but it also has it’s own advantages like-
    • It can produce large volumes, with a great precision and perfect repeatability.
    • We get thousands of variations within each material, which will lead to different properties each time.
    • Material weight, cost, flexibility, just for plastic properties and possibilities seem to be endless.



As we know it pretty well that both 3D printing and injection molding are great processes to be adapted when it comes to mass production but how do we know when to choose which one. Both of these procedures are very proficient and user friendly but choosing one over the other should be based on our needs and requirements of a project. Both of these techniques help in rapid prototyping and in production.


How can MELT help you in both of these aspects-

MELT is the one stop destination for your production based needs. We operate using the best of technologices based on the needs of the customer. We customize each and every order according to the specifications and details highlighted by the customer. We perform each techniques keeping in mind a set budget. Our company has the best 3D printing softwares that operate while producing a wide range of products and we also provide several distinct types of raw materials to choose from. Our company will cater to all your needs to give you the best quality within a fixed range.

To know more about how our services can add value to your business/ work or requirement, please feel free to connect with us : sales@meltrapid.com ,+91 82857 35501


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