Cost-effective and custom-made components made with 3D-printed injection molding tools

Injection molding tools are typically made of expensive steel materials. igus® has now developed a cost-saving alternative with plastic 3D-printed injection molding tools, reducing costs by up to 80%. Customer-specific injection molds made of high-performance plastics are manufactured by igus® in a short amount of time. Customers can choose between any of the 50 existing iglide® materials to meet their applications' requirements.

Benefits of 3D-printed injection molding tools

By developing injection molding tools via 3D printing, igus® is able to quickly and cost-effectively provide maintenance-free plastic bearings and other components in the desired shape and material. Simple shapes are ready to ship within four days. Depending on the chosen iglide® material, the appropriate 3D printing process and injection mold material are selected so that the tool can be produced quickly and used directly in our injection molding machines. The special material properties of the molds withstand the high temperatures of the injection molding process, so that up to 500 parts can be produced from one 3D print mold.

3D-printed injection moulding tool with plain bearing

3D-printed injection molding tool with plain bearing

 

Why 3D-printed tools?

Injection moulding machines in igus® factory

Injection molding machines in the igus® factory

 

With 3D printing, injection molds can be manufactured at up to 80% lower costs. 3D-printed molds are particularly appealing for small batches and samples can be commissioned for a quantity of one or more. All 50 iglide® materials are available as maintenance-free plastic plain bearings, from which you will find the suitable option for your application (e.g. iglide® T500 for a continuous application temperature of up to 482˚F).

When are 3D printed injection molds particularly worthwhile in comparison to direct 3D print?

3D-printed injection molds are ideal for efficiency and cost-effectiveness, considering the material properties of the parts made from the 3D print mold and the parts from a conventional serial mold are very similar. Even though plain bearing materials have special properties (e.g., conductivity, underwater use, KTW conformity, high temperature resistance, etc.) and cannot be processed in a 3D printer, 3D printed injection molds are an ideal solution.

Custom-made plain bearings

Custom-made plain bearings

 

Are there any cases where direct 3D print is more suitable?

3D printer with igus® filament

3D printer prints special shapes with igus® filaments

 

If delivery time is of priority and the components must be delivered between 24 hours and three days, 3D print is the better option. Also, if the components are more complex, it is more beneficial to make the components directly in 3D print. Due to the tool-less manufacturing process, complexity does not add additional costs. For small parts under 5 g, whether complex or simple, the 3D print can be the more cost-effective method. The igus® 3D print service is available for you to order custom-made parts online and receive them quickly. iglide® high-performance plastics are also available as filaments for the 3D print, and are particularly suitable for moving applications due to their high abrasion resistance and excellent coefficients of friction.

Go to igus® 3D print service

Logo 3D print service  

Use the igus® 3D print service to print components for your application.

Do you have any questions?

Contact us by filling out the form below!

igus® inc.
PO Box 14349
East Providence
R.I. 02914

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