3D printing has advanced in recent years, and many people have turned to this technology to create and use parts in various products. While 3D printing may provide an ideal option for a prototype, you will want to make the conversion to steel molding if you go into full-scale production.
The steel molding process creates a strong mold of a product when the rubber is injected into it to form a specific shape. Learn more about the advantages of rubber steel molding over using 3D printers. With this knowledge, you can choose a manufacturer to produce your high-quality parts as needed.
1. Accurate Parts Every Time
When you order products through a process that uses a steel mold, you can ensure accurate parts every time. The steel mold can create a duplicate part many times and maintain its proper strength and structure. The uniform parts help ensure that they fit correctly in productions, and you don’t have to deal with deviation.
With a 3D printer, you may not have the same accuracy. The printers will make the parts based on a digital design as opposed to a mold. Many elements can change the way the final part looks. For example, a small glitch could cause the part to have a defect. In addition, if the rubber cartridges run low, then the thickness of a 3D-printed part could change and create different variations.
When you need bulk orders of parts, you will want to ensure the parts are uniform and consistently match. A steel mold provides the best way to do this.
2. No Layer Lines
With a steel mold, you will have one solid piece with smooth edges and grooves that match your needs. With a 3D-printed product, you could run into a common issue known as layer lines. Instead of molding the rubber part all at once, a 3D-printed product starts from the bottom and creates the design one layer at a time.
Once complete, you can see very small ridges that make up the layer lines and showcase how the part was put together. Not only do layer lines create a visual issue, but those lines may impact the performance of a part. For example, if a rubber seal acts as a barrier for liquids, then moisture could seep through the small layer lines.
3. Future Production and Saved Molds
With a 3D printer, you can save a file and have digital diagrams of the parts you need, but you don’t know what printer you will use or the consistency of the rubber. With a steel mold, you could keep the same mold forever and have accurate runs of parts made years down the line.
When you are ready for another production run, you will simply use the same steel mold and the accuracy of the parts will remain as you intended. A lot of variables go into the 3D printing process that could impact the accuracy and long-term use of rubber products.
With a rubber molding company, you can choose to keep your mold with their inventory or keep the mold for yourself when needed. The high quality of the steel will help the mold last for years and provide you with exactly what you need to make extra parts in the future.
If you are seeking out rubber products, then plan your project with us at Accurate Products. We will help you design and implement a wide range of rubber products. Our company has years of experience in the industry, and we rely on steel molds to create uniform and accurate rubber parts for large or small orders.