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Almost all 3D printing technologies can find entry points for applications in the field of mold manufacturing, such as selective laser melting (SLM) technology through 3D printing for conformal cooling channels in injection moldssmall business online payment processing, 3D printing of master molds for investment casting through digital light processing (DLP) technology, and rapid manufacturing of small batches through light curing (SLA) technology or Polyjet technology injection molds. In these applications, after the mold is 3D printed, the mold is transferred to the production line and the final product is manufactured using the mold.

American startup collider has gone a step further by integrating active injection molding into its Orchid 3 d printer, providing a one-stop automated solution for a wide range of products from liquid materials to finished plastic parts. What's so special about this versatile 3D printer? In this issue, 3D Science Valley joins our friends at Google to find out.

One machine enables 3D printing of molds and molding of plastic parts.

A special process

Collider describes the technology of the Orchid 3D printer as a "programmable control mold" technology. The Orchhid 3D printer has a build volume of 380mm*215mm*380mm and can print a mold design height of 7cm rapid moldingper hour, with a Collider target of 36cm per hour.

Next, Orchhid automatically starts the reactive injection molding process to complete the plastic part manufacturing task. So how does this task come about? First, let's take a brief look at the reactive injection molding process.

Reactive injection molding is an industrial molding process in which the injection material used is not a polymer, but two or more liquid monomers or prepolymers in a certain ratio are added to the mixing head, and the mixture is uniformly mixed under pressure and immediately injected into the mold, where it is cured during the polymerization process and molded into plastic products. Since the raw material used is liquid, it can fill the mold cavity quickly and reduce the pressure, thus reducing the closing force and mold cost.

Orchid's reactive injection molding process uses a similar principle. After the 3D printing of the mold is completed, the print bed of the Orchid 3D printer rises and the injection material flows through holes m30s++in the print bed from the two-component resin mixing system into the mold, where it solidifies. Meanwhile, the air control system ensures that no air pockets or deformation will occur during the reaction injection molding process. As a result, the orchid machine can automatically complete the 3D printing of the mold and the subsequent injection molding process. There is minimal reliance on human labor during the entire process. Only after the injection molding is completed, the molded part is manually removed and the shell is rinsed with hot water to obtain a completely dense plastic part.