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When you are using products in your daily life, do you ever wonder how they are made?

When you are using products in your daily life, do you ever wonder how they are made? There are various kinds of the manufacturing process, and injection molding is one of them. The fabricating method of injection molding includes injecting melted materials, which is usually plastic, into the mold prepared in advance and ejecting the product after it cools off. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what everyday products are made from injection molding!

Plastic Bottles

One of the products that we have access to daily is the plastic bottle. Because the plastic bottles are required to be light as well as strong enough to stay in shape, they are often made out of the PET plastic through injection molding. Besides the bottles, the plastic caps and lids are also made from the process of injection molding.

Food Utensils and Containers

Besides the containers for drinks, the containers and utensils for food are also made out of plastics by the process of injection molding. The two kinds of plastics that are typically adopted when producing food utensils are polypropylene and polystyrene. As one would expect, the molding equipment used to create the food utensils and containers is way more sanitized than those that are used to make other plastic products. However, the molding manufacturing process is basically the same.

Medical Tools

Yes, the plastic device that serves for medical purposes is also made by injection molding. Consequently, it is clear that the injection molding process is very sanitized and can be used in various places that have high demands for sanitation.

Electronic Products’ Enclosure

Because of the plastic’s non-conductivity and its sturdy property, it is considered the perfect fit for electronic housing. Electronic products that range from remote controls, televisions, computers, to electrical switches, have all of their outer enclosures are made out of plastics. Such products need to be identical. Thus injection molding would be an ideal manufacture method for them.

Toys

Toys, as they are designed for children, have to be lightweight and hard to be damaged. Plastic, which fulfills both needs, becomes the first choice in toy manufacturing. Also, for toys that need to be constructed together, extreme precision becomes one of the prerequisites. And injection molding meets such requirements consummately.

Car Interiors

Not only children who are keen on playing toys are surrounded by products of injection molding, but the adults are also interacting with profuse injection molding commodities. The plastic parts of the seats, front, and back of the car are all made from injection molding.

Conclusion

All in all, injection molding is a common way of manufacturing products that range from mechanical parts to daily life products thanks to specific properties of plastics and the high precision brought by injection molding.

For people who need a medium or high production volume of injection molding parts, tasks can be well finished with the help of a professional manufacturing company. RapidDirect is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of rapid prototyping services, whose injection molding service features streamlining the manufacturing process with automation, wide range of compatible materials, a high degree of accuracy and precision and rapid manufacturing for medium to high production volumes.

CNC machining is a type of subtractive manufacturing process that carves out the needed intended product out of a block of material and 3D printing is a kind of additive manufacturing process that builds the final product layer by layer. There are several similarities as well as differences between these two manufacturing methods.

Required Material and Waste Produced

The essential difference of CNC machining’s subtractive manufacturing process and 3D printing’s additive manufacturing processes suggests that they are compatible with different materials and produce a distinct amount of waste. Since CNC machining involves only carving the shape out, it has a wide range of material options from plastic, metal, wood, wax, and almost any kind of material. On the other hand, 3D printing has more limited available choices. In general, the common 3D printing materials are mostly only plastics such as PLA and metals such as aluminum.

In addition, due to the fact that CNC machining carves the intended product out of a block of original material, it usually produces wastes that can hardly be recycled. However, since 3D printing creates the product out of scratch, it does not leave much waste after finishing building the model.

Size, Accuracy, and Time

The products made by CNC machining and 3D printing are distinct in terms of size, accuracy, and the time it takes to manufacture them.

For CNC machining, it can produce products sizing from very large to significantly small with high precision. In contrast, 3D printing has more restrictions on the size of its product. Since 3D printing creates its final product layer by layer, the minimum wall thickness determines the minimum size of the product, and the minimum wall thickness is restricted by its end effector. Other than the minimum size of products, the maximum part size is also confined because 3D printing requires close environment control. It is not impossible to produce large products by using 3D printing. However, that would require the assembling of different pieces built by 3D printing, which can take up a large amount of time.

In addition, CNC machining offers a polished surface look thanks to its higher heat tolerance. For 3D printing, however, the layer lines may be visible, especially around the curves. Furthermore, since CNC machining is a subtractive process, the time it takes to make the final product is way less than that of 3D printing. Since the process of 3D printing includes melting the materials and building the product from nothing, it is natural that it takes more time than the subtractive process of CNC machining.

Manufacturing Workflow

Both CNC machining and 3D printing involve the operation of a computer. The movement of CNC machining tools is controlled by computer software, and the process of 3D printing largely replies on the machine operator’s file as well. However, while the operation of 3D printing solely depends on the file chosen for the machine operator, CNC machining is way more labor-intensive. Besides the movement of tools, most steps of CNC machining require an expert operator to complete, including setting up the machine, tool selection, spindle speed, cutting path, and other post-processing.

Cost

As far as the price is concerned, it is largely dependent on the quantity of the product. While the unit cost of using CNC machines to make a small quantity of product can be expensive, it is ideal to choose CNC machining for mass production. The excellent repeatability of CNC machining also makes it a better choice respecting mass production. For 3D printing, on the other hand, each product produced by 3D printing has the same unit cost, regardless of how big the quantity is. Consequently, when the desired product is in large amount, CNC machining would be a wiser option.

Conclusion

In conclusion, CNC Machining and 3D printing each has its own advantage and disadvantage in different respects. When concerning the material, 3D printing is only compatible with plastics and certain metals and CNC machining can work with almost all kinds of material. However, CNC machining also leaves a large number of waste materials that cannot be recycled while 3D printing does not produce any waste. In terms of the manufactured product, CNC machining can produce products in various sizes accurately in a relatively short amount of time, but 3D printing can only build products in restricted sizes with less precision in a longer period of time. When it comes to the manufacturing workflow, 3D printing requires little human intervention while CNC machining must be operated by operators. For the price of these two processes, CNC machining would be a cheaper choice compared to 3D printing when mass production is needed.

For people who need a medium or high production volume of CNC or 3D printing parts, tasks can be well finished with the help of a professional manufacturing company. RapidDirect is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of rapid prototyping services, whose CNC machining and 3D printing service features streamlining the manufacturing process with automation, wide range of compatible materials, a high degree of accuracy and precision and rapid manufacturing for medium to high production volumes.

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