Attention Injection Molders: 3D Printing Is Your Friend
Norbert Sparrow | Nov 24, 2020
Whether a part is being 3D printed or injection molded, an effective design strategy will enable iterations and optimizations before manufacturing begins and adjustments become much more onerous. Down the line, it will accelerate time to market and increase profitability. That all hinges on a sound understanding of design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) principles. Kevin Hogan, CEO of Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI), will address that and more during Virtual Engineering Week. Hogan is scheduled to speak on Dec. 3 at noon at the event, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.
“The positive impact of bringing a contract manufacturer into the development phase facilitates speed to market while improving quality and cost efficiencies,” Hogan told Plastics Today. “Design for manufacturability is a powerful process for plastic injection molding. And design for additive manufacturing is valuable for parts produced using 3D printing,” he added. His presentation at Virtual Engineering Week will explain to attendees what effective DfM and DfAM processes encompass. “We’ll also share successful real-world applications of each process,” said Hogan.
While some injection molders have been wary of additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, as a potential competitor, DPI has embraced the process. Hogan considers it to be one more tool at DPI’s disposal to better serve customers. “We are able to offer multiple ways to help solve customers' manufacturing needs. DPI can review a part and determine which option is best, based on the customer’s needs and requirements. We have also kicked off projects pursuing both injection molding and additive parts for a specific application,” explained Hogan.
DPI deploys Carbon Digital Light Synthesis
DPI joined the Carbon Production Network in 2018. Established by 3D-printing technology company Carbon, the network allows companies to deploy the Carbon Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) process to print parts with “exceptional mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish,” according to Carbon. “The Carbon DLS process allows engineers and designers to iterate faster, deliver projects with less risk, and radically re-imagine their products by introducing consolidated parts, impossible geometries, and programmable lattices,” writes Carbon on its website. DPI sees the technology as a valuable addition to its core plastic injection molding services.
“We utilize [DLS] to provide quick-turn production-quality parts where cost and timing of injection molding tooling doesn’t meet customer needs,” explained Hogan. “We created the Acceleration Station brand, powered by Carbon, to provide the ‘Fastest Path to Market.’”
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