Freeform Injection Moulding (FIM) - Plastic injection moulding in 3D printed dissolvable moulds
A mould cavity for injection moulding is 3D printed using digital light processing (DLP) technology. The printed mould is injected with a plastic in a conventional injection moulding process, and the mould is then dissolved in sodium hydroxide to release the moulded component. Because the single-use one-piece mould is dissolved, the process allows for the moulding of components with geometries that are impossible to mould with normal injection moulding tooling. The cost per unit is higher than with metal tools, but this is offset by the reduction in tooling costs.
Applications for freeform injection moulding:
It is used to mould components for prototypes and low-volume production in a wide range of plastics that are rarely available for direct 3D printing. It can be used to mould components for product validation in the final production material before investing in hard tooling. It also allows for mass customisation of moulded plastic parts.
Use it to quickly make out-of-stock spare parts.
The samples are a printed mould and the matching injection moulded component.
All samples come with a laminated information card, which includes contact details for the supplier.
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