3D printing vs plastic injection molding : which method is the most interesting?
Sculpteo conducted a comparative study allowing professionals to choose the best between the plastic injection molding and 3D printing. A study that proves the effectiveness of 3D printing, particularly in the production of small series.
Sculpteo wanted to know what the interest in 3D printing was rather than manufacture plastic injection. After considering several qualitative aspects such as elasticity, strength and appearance of finishes, Sculpteo was interested in the factors that may affect the price of production (number of units produced, the volume of the object produced and complexity the design of the product object).
And finally, the study shows that the point of balance between 3D printing and plastic molding is hundreds of units produced. Thus, a remote control starts to almost € 450 for less than a hundred units at the manufacturer Quick parts injection, while it is around 30 € at Sculpteo 3D. And it was only 502 pieces that prices of injection become more interesting than those of 3D printing.
Furthermore, it is more cost effective to print in 3D of small parts, the volume of the work piece being an important factor in the price of 3D printing. Indeed, for a purpose of 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm the equilibrium point is at 1410 parts, whereas for an object to 5 x 5 x 5 cm it will be 440 parts, and an object of 20 x 20 x 20 cm to 33 parts. Finally, this study shows that the object is more complex (coring, holes, atypical forms), plus 3D printing is the ideal means of production. Sculpteo confirms that 3D printing today is not intended to replace the plastic injection molding, but the two are complementary technology.