Custom Plastic Injection Molding: Difference between Machined and 3D Printed Metal Injection Molds

Apr 18, 2021

Different Types of Custom Plastic Injection Molding Available

Some injection molders manufacturer provides custom plastic injection molding to their clients.  But, you first need to evaluate the complexity of your project before deciding whether you should go for customized services or not. Once you have evaluated the level of complexity of your project, it will be easier for you to decide the level of customization that you require.

custom plastic injection molding

What Is Custom Plastic Injection Molding?

Some projects require simple designs while others demand a bit complex design. A custom plastic injection molding allows you to evaluate the level of complexity required for your project. As a result, you will be able to decide which type of customized services you require.

Customized injection molding relies heavily on scientific methods and molding technologies. This allows the machine to meet the performance requirements of the different types of products produced in the machine.

A custom injection molding machine does not only speed up the production process, but it uses the most accurate method needed to produce the product. Some of the common methods that are available with custom plastic injection molding are machine molding, 3D scientific molding, and multi-shot molding.

Difference between Machined Metal Injection Molds and 3D Printing

Machined injection molding and 3D printing are both used to manufacture complex products. While both of these methods look the same to the users, they are quite different from each other. Want to know the difference between the two production methods? Keep reading then.

Machined Metal Injection Molding

Machined injection molding is a manufacturing process that uses molds. It works by carving the inverse of an object out of the plastic. The plastic must be safe enough to handle the molten build in which it will be poured to complete the manufacturing process.

What You Need

The process of machined metal injection molding begins with a digital 3D design. But, before you can start the production process, you require a few basic things. Let’s take a look at them below.

Injection Molding Machine

The basic thing that you require for the process of machine metal injection molding is an injection molding machine. The machine must be designed in such a way that it can keep molds in place when they will be filled. As a result, they will not jostle up to mess your final product.


The molds are the most valuable tools that you will need for the process of machined injection molding. Choosing the right type of mold can make a huge impact on your manufacturing process and has the power to either make or break your project. While it is quite expensive to create molds from their original designs, some manufacturers even make them on large scale. This saves them a lot of money.


There is a wide range of molding materials available for you to choose from. You can go for metal and plastic as these two are the most common materials available for molding. The material that you pick will depend upon the product that you are manufacturing.


Want to know some pros of machined metal injection molds? Stay tuned then.


The main purpose of machined injection molding is to manufacture products in a large batch that are identical to each other. When you mass-produce the products, you get a lower cost as well.

Enhanced Strength

The objects that are manufactured through injection molding consist of a single layer. As a result, they are stronger than the objects manufactured through 3D printing. What’s more, injection molding can even handle dense materials that are quite difficult to produce through 3D printing.

Less Wastage

Machined molding is a customized molding method that produces extremely little wastage. That’s because it uses exactly as much material that is needed for each design.

3D Printing

3D printing is a process that manufactures plastic projects in layers. You can even watch the manufacturing process while the project is being manufactured. It can help you a lot when you are testing a new design.

What You Need

You will require the following basic things to start the process of 3D printing.

3D Printer

The 3D printer is the most basic thing that you require for 3D printing. There are various 3D printers out there in different ranges. You can pick the one that best fits your requirements. If you cannot afford to buy a 3D printer, then you can even avail the services of a manufacturing company.


3D printers require filament to manufacture the product. These spools of filaments are entered into the printer where they are melted to produce the desired object. There are different filaments or materials available out there. All you need to do is pick the one that suits your object requirement.


If you are looking to produce a small number of intricate products, then 3D printing is great for you. Some more pros of 3D printing are mentioned below.

Lower Entry Cost

As compared to plastic injection molding, the entry cost of 3D printing is extremely low. What’s more, the open-source hardware and software available in the market can help you print the object without incurring any major cost.


It is quite easy to make changes in 3D printing as compared to a plastic injection molding machine. As a result, you can spot and fix issues in the production process as many times as you want. This helps the manufacturers in avoiding an entire batch of production as well.

Able to Support Complicated Designs

The 3D printing process works by adding layers on top of each other. This allows the manufacturers to produce an intricate infrastructure of the object.

custom plastic injection molding

Final Thoughts

So, if you want to produce a large batch of finished products then custom plastic injection molding is the best manufacturing process for you. But, if you are looking to produce something intricate in a smaller number, then you must go for 3D printing.

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