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From Product Idea to Mass Production

Updated: Jun 7

3D printing is a great way to turn your idea or sketch into an actual product. But first, you will need a 3D model/file. Capture It in 3D can provide a 3D model based on a simple sketch or CAD design. This file can now be used to 3D print a prototype. Once the final prototype is approved, it can now be mass produced, oftentimes more quickly and more cost effectively than conventional manufacturing methods. There are now numerous materials that can be used for 3D printing, including single and multicolored resin, filament, nylon, sandstone, wax, ceramic, and even metal. Design changes can be made to the prototype without having to redesign a custom, expensive mold. For lower volume production, ie 10-1000 pieces, 3D printing is a great way to mass produce products with a fairly rapid turn around time. It is also a great method to use to manufacturer complex shapes.

Complex geometric shape 3D printed in black resin

Injection molding can also be used in conjunction with 3D modeling and 3D printing, especially when larger volumes, ie 1000 or more pieces, or larger pieces (greater than 12 inches), are needed. This is because 3D printers are still limited in build volume, and fewer 3D printers and 3D printing companies are available that are capable of printing at large volumes or at larger sizes. If a client has a larger budget and a less strict timeframe for completion, injection molding may be a better alternative to 3D printing. A plastic material, much as thermoplastic, is injected into a mold, often a metal mold, and the plastic is molded to its appropriate shape and dries as a solid object. Both technologies can also be complimentary, as a custom mold can be designed using a 3D printed model as well.

Injection molding using a metal mold to make plastic parts

Here is an example of a 3D model that we designed using a sketch provided by our client. The model was first 3D printed in a gray resin, mass produced and hand painted. The entire project took about 3-4 weeks, and custom trophies were delivered.

Sketch of toy prototype, by Splashlight

Toys 3D printed in resin

Toy head hand painted

Toy bodies hand painted

Final toy trophy on base

Let us help you bring your idea to life. Send us a sketch or CAD design, and we can walk you through every step of the process from 3D modeling to 3D printing to mass production.

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