If you’ve been doodling on a napkin for the next great idea, but don’t know how to get it into production, we can help. Plastic injection molding has countless applications and can be done at a lower cost than other processes and materials. These are the steps to research on moving your sketch to a reality and estimating plastic injection costs for your molding project:
Modeling Your Design
Start with a 3-D model. A 2-D hand drawing or a professional drawing is a great start, but it needs to be moved into a 3-D model. If you don’t have someone to transfer your idea into 3-D, we can do that for you. We will discuss your idea and then make a model to review. You may have an actual part to review if you’re also a fabricator. That will follow the same process into a 3-D model.
With modeling done, we have the ability to create a plastic rapid prototype part of your design. This will take 2-3 days to complete, but when it’s finished it will be a great representation of the sketch you had in mind. It will be durable enough to try and you can use it as a test piece to understand if the original concept should be moved forward into production. If there are changes needed, this step allows the design to be easily modified and another prototype part can be made following the design revisions.
When the design is finalized, the next step is to design the manufacturing molding tooling to make the parts. There are some design aspects with the parts that you must consider for the final parts:
Number of cavities in the mold – How many parts do you plan to make, and how many should be made each time the tool molds? For a large part, perhaps only one can be made at a time. For a small component, you might be able to make six or ten. There is a balance between cavities and the cost of the mold. Obviously more cavities means a larger mold and more cost. We will find the right balance of what is needed and what would be the best option.
Selecting The Material To Be Used
Mold material – A large driver of the mold tooling cost is the material it is made from. The most common molding materials are steel or aluminum, but for each there are different variations for cost and durability. If you don’t know the difference and the durability for each, we can guide you in the discussion on what our best suggestion will be based on the part and how many parts need to be made.
Molded part material – You may want a plastic part, but there are also variations of the plastic. We mold in many different variations of plastic that can effect on cost of the part, durability for the end customer, and how the material flows when molding. If you don’t know what material to use, we’ll discuss what the part will be used for and what we recommend to maximize the results of the parts.
Molded part surface finish – The surface finish of your part will be inclusive of the mold cost. A more polished surface will require more tooling preparation than something with a rough texture.
What appearance will look best on my part?
Customization of the mold will increase the value of the part and eliminates the need for post mold decoration.
When all those details are finalized, the tooling can be made for production use. Finally, the per piece price is determined by the order quantity. We help you to determine the best possible most efficient order batch. As complicated as the whole process sounds, we’ve done it many times. We are here to help guide you through the process and our molding experts can design a mold and process to easily make your napkin sketch into a finished part.
We also have great vendor relationships that can potentially get your product out to the marketplace through supply chain management, additive manufacturing, and assembly. We can be your source for a one-stop-shop. Contact us today with your next great idea and let’s work together to get your idea out there. Contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or request for a quote.