Manufacturing Tooling Solutions - Blow Molding

Speed up the process of blow molding plastic models or prototypes by using 3D printing Polyjet or FDM technologies. 







3D Printing - Manufacturing-Tooling Solution - Blow Molding 

Blow molding is a manufacturing process, which involves the creation of hollow plastic parts, such as bottles and other plastic containers. The manufacturing process of blow molding is fast and cost efficient; however, prototyping a plastic model is time consuming and can be expensive. Prototyping a blow molding model requires precise and skillful engineers to create perfect parameters prior to mass production. The smallest error in the prototype can create a faulty model, while the die temperature or the blow pressure can affect the process and the outcome of blow molding. 

How it works

The blow molding process uses many common plastic materials including polystyrene, polycarbonate (PC), polyvinylchloride, and resins including polyethylene. The materials used can easily be replaced by Polyjet or FDM materials to create a functional prototype, which helps with the production of a blow molding process. Manufacturers use the prototypes to help them visualize and analyze the measurements of a blow molded product prior to mass production. 

There are three major variations of blow molding: 

Extrusion Blow Molding (EBM) 

An extruder drops a parison (hot, hollow tube of plastic) between two mold halves. One end of the gap is sealed and the other end is left open. Air is injected through the open end, forcing the malleable plastic against the mold walls. Upon cooling, the plastic retains the contour of the mold. This process can produce very large containers, but is not suitable for all materials.

Injection Blow Molding (IBM) 

This two–step process begins with injection molding a preform, which is then heated, placed in a blow mold and inflated. Compared with EBM, this process allows for more careful control over part walls and results in better transparency and surface quality.

Injection Stretch Blow Molding (ISBM) 

This method incorporates an additional step where the injection–molded preform is heated, then mechanically stretched before inflation. This contributes to the part’s strength and wall uniformity.

The Proto3000 Advantage 

By keeping your original ideas inside your own four walls, you will eliminate any prototyping process that was previously outsourced. Your product development cycle will be greatly enhanced with a 3D Printer in-house.

3D printing with PolyJet or FDM Technology offers an opportunity to prototype blow–molded products faster and at lower cost. With PolyJet or FDM 3D printing, companies can design a mold, build the tool and blow mold near–production quality prototypes. Advances in PolyJet and FDM 3D printing, including improved surface quality, durability, build speed and cost, make blow-mold prototyping a much more rewarding process. The two Stratasys 3D printing platforms (PolyJet and FDM) can be applied to all three blow–molding methods. 

The Proto3000 Services Team is waiting for your call to help you with designing and function testing your blow molding prototypes. If you want to speak to a LIVE PERSON - CALL 1-888-88-PROTO (77686).


When creating a prototype for a blow molding process, the material being used must be heat resistant and durable enough to withstand as many cycles of testing as needed. Both Polyjet and FDM materials offer suitable materials for this purpose. Polyjet and FDM materials have insulating characteristics, which affect cycle time. To avoid this, the 3D printed prototypes should include cooling systems and a manufacturer must avoid using compressed air cans and speed cooling. 

The Technology Used for Creating 3D Printed Concept Models 

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology 

Using FDM technology allows affordability and durability by printing concept models with production-grade thermoplastics. 
FDM 3D Printers are office friendly and they produce small models in hours and large models in days. The FDM printed models can be drilled, sanded and painted according to your preference to create a perfect finishing of your prototype. 


PolyJet 3D Printing Technology

As a 3D printing process, this technology produces amazingly realistic models. The printing technology builds accurate models by incorporating multiple materials into one automated part to create prototypes that look and feel like finished products. With fine details, smooth surfaces, rigid housings, soft-touch buttons, lettering, rubberlike seals and even clear components, your models can look the part at a trade show, a presentation or even during a sales pitch. 



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