One major way to expand your 3D printing capacity is learning how to 3D print molds. We’re not talking about taking up microbiology, but creating vessels to fill with your ideas. They’re great for mass manufacturing, standardizing your designs, and expanding your repertoire of what you can make for yourself. Here, we’ll give you the rundown on what 3D printed molds are, how to create and use them, and why they’re a good idea.
First, we need to distinguish between two types of object creation to illustrate how printing 3D molds is different than your standard 3D printing projects. The main difference is in how you get to the final object.
Standard 3D printing is its own means to an end – once your printer stops and your material cools, you’ve got your end product. The standard 3D printing process is additive, which means you’re building your shape as you print. Your design falls into place as the material is extruding, which is how it’s finalized as soon as you’re done.
3D printing molds takes an extra step. First, you print a container that is the inversion of your final design; then you fill that container with your final manufacturing material, let that dry, then open the mold to reveal your final object. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty below, but for now, just know these general steps are called additive manufacturing and do require a little more work than standard 3D printing projects. But we promise it’s totally worth it.
3D printing molds is accessible to anyone who wants to try it, but it’s especially helpful if you’re looking to get the following specific aspects from your 3D printing experience:
3D printing molds is so easy to start because it doesn’t require a long list of specialized equipment, even once you get past the starter stage. Here’s all you need to make 3D printing with mold your own:
We’ve covered a lot of reasons why 3D printing molds is a simple way to upgrade your manufacturing game. Here are the biggest pros to giving it permanent room in your 3D printing toolbox:
Nobody’s perfect, and neither are all 3D printing processes. 3D printing molds have a few downsides, so here’s what you need to realize before you jump all in:
So now that you know the basics, here are a couple of ways to make sure your 3D printed molds stick their landings like the 1994 US Olympic Team.
If you’re almost convinced but don’t want to try your own hand at 3D printing molds, there are plenty of 3D printing services out there that will do it for you on demand, including All3DP’s Price Comparison Service.
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So there you have it! Whether you decide to try 3D printing molds on your own equipment or with the help of any of these services, we guarantee you’ll expand your manufacturing horizons. Happy molding!
License: The text of "3D Printed Molds – All You Need to Know to DIY" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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