This Prospective covers an overview of the injection molding process and the importance of mold design and tooling considerations, important material requirements and thermal properties for molds, polymer material requirements for injection molding, mold flow analysis, and the promise of using the 3D printing process for mold fabrication. The second part demonstrates the injection molding process using 3D-printed polymer molds and its suitability for low-run productions. 3D-printed molds using stereolithography and fused filament fabrication have been injected with polylactic acid, and the quality of the injected parts was assessed in terms of dimensional accuracy and the damage mechanisms during fabrication.
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This work is supported by the Department of Science and Technology—Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and PETRO Case. A portion of this work (R.C.A and Q.C.) is funded by the Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus, operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC, under contract number DE-NA0002839.
The supplementary material for this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2019.147.
The Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus is operated and managed by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC under contract number DE-NA0002839.
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Dizon, J.R.C., Valino, A.D., Souza, L.R. et al. Three-dimensional-printed molds and materials for injection molding and rapid tooling applications. MRS Communications 9, 1267–1283 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2019.147