If you have had a dream of multiple colors or different textures on your next product, perhaps a variation of multi-material injection molding is the perfect option. Multi-material injection molding (MMM) is the process of molding two or more different materials into one plastic part at one time. Traditional injection molding uses one color at a time, one material at a time, but new MMM technology is offering the process to use more than one color or material to create new products that are changing the landscape.
For multi-shot or two-shot injection molding, different resins are injected into the mold in separate nozzles. The resins or materials chosen must be similar in melting point, so that the injection molding machine can use a heat range to melt both materials concurrently. This will reduce your ability to choose resins and materials, but will still leave you with many to choose from for your next product.
Product concepts using multi-shot or two-shot molding include:
- soft handle inserts (picture a toothbrush with rubberized grip)
- multi-colored parts
- automotive or aerospace dashboard or instrumentation
- products with molded seals
- parts requiring flexible hinges
- assemblies with movable components
The benefits and advantages of utilizing multi-shot or two-shot injection molding compared to standard production processes are reduced cost, higher quality, and a reduction in secondary processes. The technology enables your product to have:
- More complex parts to create a unique final assembly. Give your new product a creative advantage over the competition with new colors, textures, and materials they haven’t thought of yet.
- Lower overall part cost by reducing secondary assembly processes and associated labor cost. Production time can be reduced as secondary tooling won’t be required, extra labor won’t be utilized, and logistics can be reduced or eliminated moving components from workstation to workstation. Your entire product development and assembly line can be shortened and redesigned.
- Improved part quality with high dimensional tolerance and accuracy. Create new products with unconventional shapes and forward-thinking designs.
- Multi-color and multi-material designs that offer upgraded features and appeal. Imagine your customers using their tactile senses to feel the quality in your new product and their visual senses for new aesthetics.
- Reduction or elimination of secondary processes for logos, graphics and text. Your unique product logo can be inserted into the molding operation, which will reduce the need for a second step to keep your brand identity. Graphics become part of the process, not an after-thought. Text merges with molding as your words are engrained into your new product.
With multiple material options and multi-shot injection molding, your creative process is unleashed. Technology no longer hinders your ability to think outside the box and create new never thought of designs that will be sure to wow your new consumers. The right team can help you meet your product design and development goals. When you’re ready to work with an elite team that produces world-class products, call us (425) 339-0288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can offer you hands-on step by step advice on the best materials and technology to use, the best molding processes to meet your new product demands, and how to navigate through each development stage with ease.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.