Medical device parts makers are increasingly turning to 3D printing, but additive manufacturing has yet to reach the tipping point where it could supplant injection molding in medtech parts manufacturing, according to a March 8 experts panel at the AD&M Cleveland show in March.
Whether a manufacturer uses 3D printing or injection molding is completely reliant on what a customer’s needs are, said the experts from PTI Engineered Plastics, Carbon and Protolabs.
In fact, the two processes may be more of a dynamic duo.
One of the advantages of 3D printing is that a manufacturer can get their hands on a product quicker than they would be able to with injection molding, while having the ability to completely customize the product. In contrast, injection molding allows parts to be produced in mass volumes.