Elite American injection molders specialize in plastics design and urge early supplier involvement to improve product quality and reduce costs. “We have design involvement in 80 to 85% of our business, comments Kelly Sichter, vice president of business development for Phillips Plastics, Phillips, WI.Phillips’ process involves five steps: Investigation, Exploration, Refinement, Implementation and Production.One of the most critical phases is Refinement, in which a cross-functional team of design, industrial and production engineers meet with marketing and other functional representatives to consider a myriad of trade-offs in the molding process that can result in improved marketability, manufacturability, or overall value. Click here to see a hypothetical example of four sets of choices for a handheld electronic device.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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