Jun 12, 2014

Will 3D printing ever, in a million years, be faster than injection molding? 3D Systems announced this week a breakthrough - for the first time ever, its fab-grade 3D printers effectively matched and exceeded the productivity of traditional injection molding in the direct manufacture of functional parts.

"Our unwavering commitment to customer success through innovation has literally broken the mold this time – challenging the myth that 3D printing can't match the productivity of injection molding," said Cathy Lewis, 3DS' CMO. "This is just the beginning. We are working on additional applications that defy traditional manufacturing constraints, allowing our customers to go from idea to product in hours, instead of months - to truly manufacture the future."

3D Systems uploaded an odd video demonstrating how its fab-grade printers can manufacture thousands of parts at speeds comparable to traditional injection molding operations. As an example, 3D Systems mentioned in the video that they have recently printed out 2,400 mini lampshades on a Stereolithography (SLA) printer in 20 hours. That means it took only 30 seconds to print each part.

This breakthrough opens up the possibility of just-in-time, high volume flexible additive manufacturing using 3D printing technology. 3D Systems pointed out, while injection molding is not getting any faster because the technology is mature, 3D printing technology has been tremendously improved over the last 20~30 years. "We're doubling 3D printer capabilities every 18 months." 3D Systems said. But how could that happen? "Lots of R&D, better material, more powerful lasers, bigger machines. There's lots more at work." 3D Systems said.

Watch the video below 'Breaking the Speed Barrier' from 3D Systems.

Posted in 3D Printing Company


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in disbelief wrote at 6/15/2014 2:40:27 AM:

Is 3D Systems kidding? They reached a new low for most misleading 3D print commercials. Please stop this propaganda!

thebutler wrote at 6/14/2014 2:19:39 AM:

It's sad that 3DS resorts to an ad like this when there are so many real advantages and challenges to AM. Yes, they are getting faster, which but is critical to their widespread use, but one the 'unaired' challenges and potentials for improvement is currently locked up in the capital of the machine. The ratio of earnings to capital (EBIT/BIC) is what drives the business decision to invest, and AM provides a one step solution to cutting out a large series of operations, not just injection molding, especially in the case of metal printing. If the printer is slow, but cheap, just buy more of them. TL;DR: Making the machine cheaper matters just as much as making it faster to compete with other processes.

abe reichental wrote at 6/13/2014 7:19:23 PM:

3D Systems stooping to all new lows with an incredibly misleading video.

#realmanufacturing wrote at 6/13/2014 5:40:48 PM:

#retarded #wtf #hype-not-ripe #multi-cavity-mold #masscustomisationisthefuture #minilampshades?

alidan wrote at 6/13/2014 11:58:54 AM:

@shocked at the very least, i could see a printer with an array of lasers, so everything said and done gets the job done far faster than currently. if anything also a material upgrade so it needs less to cure faster. and for low volume, you will probably be able to print the thing faster than a die will be made to cast it.

Chris3DSmith wrote at 6/13/2014 10:43:35 AM:

In the 1950's they said we'd have a robot in every home. Today we don't but robotics has shaken up the manufacturing industry and had massive impacts on other industries. The same will be true for 3D printing and we're seeing the same hype surrounding it. Yes it will make massive impacts on our way of life and yes its got lots of potential in the manufacturing industry but plastic injection molding and other manufacturing methods are here to stay. I do want my robot butler though :(

Proteus wrote at 6/13/2014 5:01:05 AM:

Sigh. Hype, and more hype. While 3DP IS going to spread more and more into manufacturing, don't expect injection molding to go away, or even noticeably reduce. 3DP can make parts injection molding can't - and THAT's how it will grow in manufacturing.

shocked and annoyed wrote at 6/12/2014 9:55:44 PM:

Ridiculously misleading. 2400 "mini lamp shades" in 20 hours might equal 30 seconds a part.... But much like the 3d printer, an injection mold would not produce such a simple part one at a time. A reasonable injection tool would put out 200-500 of these "mini lamp shades" every 20-30 seconds, outproducing the 20 hour print batch several times over, every hour. This is a poor attempt at propaganda on 3DSystems part.

Noam wrote at 6/12/2014 8:45:49 PM:

Looks likes an ad from 1950..

Roger wrote at 6/12/2014 6:15:37 PM:

I can't see the video. I use Ubuntu/firefox.

Alan wrote at 6/12/2014 5:51:43 PM:

FACT is only ONE: 3D Systems is a THE BIGGEST LIARS ON THE WORLD . This is the FACT :)

Wild Bob wrote at 6/12/2014 5:44:16 PM:

The breakthrough is coming in machine price. The likes of Dell buying 5000 printers for use around their locations gives the possibiltiy of printing 5000 parts over night, they can be all the same or have slight differences. This is where the new manufacturing will be. Rent your 3D printer out overnight.

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