|3d printing of metal to make injection molding mold? [message #45993] Mon, 26 March 2012 12:59 UTC
We are discussing with a plastic injection molding company regarding making our next product. In order to do plastic injection molding they first machine a steel mold, and then inject the plastic. Making the steel mold will be costly for us. I wonder if we could 3d print a metal mold and then give it to them for injecting plastic. Of course it may be a different metal and not be as durable as steel, but this is ok as it is just a limited run. Have you done anything like that before?
Of course, the injection molding company wants us to use their mold-making facilities but I think this will be cheaper. However I'm not sure that this can be done, that's why I'm asking.
I expect the bumpiness/roughness will be higher and the mold may not last as long as a steel machined one, but bumpiness and life doesn't matter much for us as this is a limited-run (several thousand units) prototype.