Today’s global market has created a variety of challenges for consumer brands. Products that used to be visibly unchanged for years may now be in a state of continuous evolution. The ongoing development of product design can be time-consuming and costly for companies because of the scale and processes involved. This is why the Italian division of international consumer goods giant, Unilever, invested in 3D printing to make injection molds, blow molds and thermoform (vacuum) molds for accelerated prototype and part development without the need for conventional tooling.
A 3D printed injection mold for a Domestos-brand toilet rim block.
“By 3D printing the injection molds with Digital ABS, we’re able to achieve the high quality associated with traditional manufactured prototypes, while ensuring that the high temperatures and pressures of the injection molding process can be sustained.”
Stefano Cademartiri, R&D, CAP and prototyping specialist at Unilever