3-D printing still has some limitations—particularly when it comes to the resolution of many commercial 3-D printers. Check out this Qmed slideshow  where MTD recounts three examples of where mainstream 3-D printing technology failed to provide the resolution needed for our customer’s medical part designs.

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Our President, Dennis Tully, weighed in on the 3D Printing movement:

“As for 3D printing of mold inserts, we are learning that current available technology allows this an option only for limited, simpler geometries. There is technology for achieving micro detail out there, however. This technology shows that ultra-precise 3D printing can be done on a micro scale, so our expectation is it will eventually grow to a larger platform to allow us to use the technology for our mold inserts. As it stands now, there is a large gap between tiny, fine detail 3D printing and larger, without fine detail 3D printing. This gap is already starting to close which gives us hope that this technology will be expanded to a more useful size in coming months. Technology for printing is now here so now the challenge is to scale up the technology and add more options for materials to be useful for prototyping – this will make it more useful to the world, specifically the medical device world.”

 

moldinserts

From left to right: steel mold insert, 3D print attempt#1, 3D print attempt #2

 

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