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Will 3D Printing Eliminate Injection Molding?

This white paper considers the potential for using the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator, a novel configuration of scalable hardware and cloud-based software, as an alternative to injection molding. Centered on a detailed review of four functional component parts manufactured in ABS plastic, the economic implications of using the Demonstrator will be compared to the more traditional injection molding process, using hard tooling. The paper considers the economic and lead time break-even points below which 3D printing may now be more favorable. Also, the longer term implications of using 3D printing for ongoing batch production and spare parts manufacture will be explored, as compared to the more traditional approaches of either warehousing or injection molding tool storage, refurbishment and reuse.

The Stratasys Continuous Build Demonstrator.

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