A leading supplier of 3D-printing technology and a design and development company with a strong medtech pedigree are teaming up to promote the use of 3D-printed injection molds by medical device manufacturers. Stratasys Ltd. (Rehvoot, Israel) and Worrell (Minneapolis, MN) will jointly attend international tradeshows and host a series of workshops to educate the medical industry on the process and demonstrate its impact on manufacturing. Prototypes can be molded in final production materials as much as 95% faster and for 70% less cost using 3D-printed injection mold tooling instead of traditional aluminum molds, according to the companies.
As PlasticsToday reported earlier this year in an article profiling Worrell, medical device manufacturers traditionally face two main obstacles in getting medical devices to market in a timely manner: tooling costs and the FDA regulatory process. Traditional tooling is both costly and time-consuming, as new molds must be created every time a prototype is refined before manufacturing. To reduce potential iteration risks and tooling costs, Worrell uses Stratasys' PolyJet-based 3D printers to create injection molding tools, and then injects the same materials that will be used in a finished medical device, creating high-fidelity prototypes.