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Which do you prefer, injection molds and 3D printed airplanes?

I dabbled with 3d printing and found that the airframes were too brittle to handle crashes/hard landings. Unless you are an excellent flier who rarely/never crashes, it's not worth it in my opinion. Where 3d printing shines for this hobby is for making simple stuff like control horns or a custom motor mount.

Injection molding doesn't have layer lines and would be in general more durable than a 3d printed part (especially if comparing the same type of plastic for both processes). I don't have any full sized injected molded planes, but many of the props I use, and micro quad airframes are injection molded and do well. In general, plastic doesn't scale to full sized planes well - it simply is too heavy when thick enough for durability, and then if thinner it's too weak to handle the rough treatment I put my planes though.
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Well-known member
I'm with @joelspangler on this one. As precise as injection molding is its greatly limited by the shape you want the part to be. With a 3D printer you can create almost any shape you want and easily switch to printing a different part. I do think injection molding is useful when producing high quantities of parts


Cardboard Boy
Vac formed plane bodies like some of the Volantex ones are really nice and absolutely indestructible actually so I would take that.


Legendary member
i have printed a few planes and although they fly, i am always nervous about them. i think 3D printed planes still have some growing up to do before they are really what we need them to be.

until then i will keep printing parts and using foam.


me :cool: