There are three major factors that affect the quality of the plastic part manufactured by injection molding: the plastics used in the injection process, the injection machines themselves, and the tool used to cast the plastic into the final part. Even though all play an important role, the mold is the one that plays a crucial role in the project. Speed, cost, and location of manufacture all impact the quality of your plastics resulting in poor products. See how to make the best plastic injection molding tool.
Part One: Reviewing the Product
Making your prototype into a manufacturable version should start as early in the process as possible, seeking out a tooling company to help with prototype development. Starting early in the design process can allow your company to better understand the strengths and limitations of plastic injection molding and suggest any modifications you should make that will result in the best parts for you.
Part Two: Designing the Molding Tool
The tool designer can start working on creating the mold once you’ve determined the part or parts that need to be made. The mold’s size and costs will depend on several factors, such as:
- Part Size: When multiple parts are produced in a single mold, the size will influence the cost of production, the machines that can be used with it, and the cost per part.
- Part Complexity: Complex parts may have multiple cavities or complex cavities, or additional processes such as a two-shot molding or an over-molding process.
- Number of Cavities: More cavities can reduce the number of tools required to be created, but they may require more complex presses or additional post-production processing.
- Mold Metal: Metal can either be hardened or non-hardened in order to manufacture molds. An aluminum mold, for instance, tends to be cheaper and easier to use, but wears out more quickly if more are made.
There are many more factors at play than these that will affect the part’s cost and how well it will perform, so you should consult with your mold designer regarding all the factors that come into play in determining the part cost and how well it will perform.
Part Three: The Tooling Process
After the design is finalized, the tool is created by the tool designer, but check with them to see if they offer offshore tooling as well. Although we offer such an option, it is important to talk to the designer and understand the benefits and drawbacks of offshore tooling. No matter during the creation process the tool is built to the specifications of the design and then tested – either at the tooling facility or at the parts manufacturer.
Contact Preferred Tool today to begin making your plastic injection molding tool a reality. We assist in the development of prototypes, tooling design, tool construction, tool testing, parts production, and parts maintenance.