On occasion, 3D printed molds act as a cost-effective temporary limited production solution. Although steel molds are more robust and last longer, there are times that low volume production does not allow for the upfront cost of a steel mold. How do we do this? We bridge the gap between a 3D print prototype and fabricating a steel mold by producing a 3D printed plastic mold identical to a steel mold that lasts for limited production. The printed 3D insert then goes into a molding machine that molds the same part as a conventional mold at a fraction of the cost and time.
This process, for instance, is for fabrication projects such as 3D printed parts used for instruction and demonstration. Or if the project requires custom fabrication details needed in single-use. For example, a plastic model from MRI’s to be used for knee reconstruction or hip replacement surgery. In such a case, the necessary part is only applicable for this patient but still just as crucial.