White Paper

Injection Molding with 3D Printed Molds: A Technical Study

The French Industrial Technical Center for Plastics and Composites (IPC) conducted research to evaluate the usability of 3D printed molds for low-volume injection molding. This report documents the fabrication steps and injection trials for molds 3D printed with Formlabs solution, highlighting results and best practices.

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  1. Introduction
  2. Mold Design
  3. Mold 3D Printing
  4. Injection
  5. Conclusion


Injection molding is a cost-effective and extremely repeatable technology for mass-producing plastic parts with tight geometrical or dimensional tolerances. The high cost of traditional steel tooling, however, makes injection molding challenging for smaller part quantities and can often be a barrier to introducing a new product. With 3D printed injection molds, engineers, manufacturers, and product designers can reduce costs, shorten lead times, and bring better products to market. 3D printed injection molds are a great option for those looking to design functional prototypes with end-use materials, fabricate a series of identical pre-production prototypes, or even manufacture custom or limited series of end-use parts.

Recently, IPC carried out a research project to assess the viability of injection molding with 3D printed molds. In the report, we will summarize some of their findings, specifically those that involved Formlabs 3D printers.


IPC is the Industrial Technical Center whose expertise is dedicated to plastic and composite innovation in France. IPC develops new means to support all businesses, in particular small and medium-sized companies.

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