Recently, at IME West 2023, Brent Hahn, Isometric Micro Molding’s VP of Business Development & Strategy spoke to industry leaders in the manufacturing community. Hahn’s presentation “A Comparison for Micro Applications: 3D Printed Parts, Parts Molded from 3D Printed Molds, and Parts Molded from Traditional Molds” explained how Isometric can micro 3D print prototype components or assemblies as well as 3D print micro mold inserts for use in an existing steel base for faster micromolding in the intended thermoplastic.
DesignNews, a trusted source of new technology and trends for engineers, summarizes Hahn’s IME West 2023 Medtech Theater presentation in a recent article by Daphne Allen. Hahn defines Micro Molding as parts that can be created with a single pellet of resin. Hahn explains that Isometric expertly creates small parts with highly refined micro features, which Hahn gives an example of a “3-in. part with 175 features that each measure only 25 microns—one-quarter the width of a human hair”.
In the article, Hahn explains the way Isometric innovates the use of 3D Micro Printing to help test prototypes, using design iterations to refine the ultimate design solution before creating molds for larger production runs. One creative solution involves using 3D printed molds with thermoplastic resin, which is not available as a material to print the part directly.
In the linked article, Hahn explains Isometric Innovation Lab uses Micro 3D printing as an innovation tool to save time and money when developing micro parts and parts with micro features. The DesignNews article expands on Isometric’s recent “comparative study, the company 3D printed parts, 3D printed mold inserts, and built a metal mold with eight cavities to mold parts ranging from 25 microns (0.001 in.) to 200 microns (0.008 in.) thick.” The comparative study is seen as a bridge for that Isometric’s client can have a part in hand within a week, a fraction of the time needed to create a traditional mold.