Seeing the value in new technology is often a daunting challenge for molders and moldmakers. That has been the case with 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing) technology. As 3D printing has become an increasingly larger part of the overall manufacturing process in plants worldwide, more molders are adopting this technology for its value-added benefits.
Currier Plastics was an early adopter of 3D printing. After doing a study on the cost to have projects done at a 3D service bureau versus having that capability in house, Currier added an Objet 30 model printer a few years ago. The 3D printer acts as a "tool" in proving out design concepts, fit and function and even aesthetic appearance, Gary Kieffer, VP of new product development, told PlasticsToday. During this time, Currier has printed approximately 425 bottles, jars, canisters, closures and lids, and continues to find new uses for the technology.