4 Tips for Injection Molding Design
It’s important to understand what goes into the injection molding design process if you want to create the best products. The little details count! Focus on these helpful tips below.
The tips for injection molding design are important, hence, they need your utmost consideration. Why’s that? You may wonder. But the reason is not farfetched.
First off, the injection molding process can be quite tricky, and not as simple as you may assume it is. It focuses on designing a product and if you’ve got no prior experience, it may be hard to avoid certain pitfalls.
Nonetheless, with these tips at your fingertips, you won’t leave your designs to trial and error that could lead to wastage of material or even getting the wrong designs.
And even when various iterations will be needed from the initial conception of the product to its production, it’s possible to increase your chances of designing a successful product.
What is Injection Molding?
Injection molding is a manufacturing process, and one of the most popular ones.
It is popular since it is used to design consumer products given that the majority of these products are made of plastic. And this molding process helps in creating the needed plastics.
There are three main phases of the injection molding process.
Phases of Injection Molding
The three main phases of injection molding include:
The design stage of injection molding has to be paid great attention to. Focus is given to the aesthetics, function, assembly, manufacturability, etc. of the product.
Accordingly, a successful product is one that meets these objectives.
Hardened steel is one of the most expensive materials used in making molds, however, it makes the mold last longer.
Pre-hardened steel, on the other hand, is less expensive to create. But its material does not last as long as hardened steel.
Finally, aluminum is employed when a single cavity “Prototype Tooling” is needed.
A well-designed product needs to be manufactured.
Hence in this stage, a thermostat or thermoplastic material that is in granular form is applied through the hopper and into a heating barrel.
Heat is applied to the plastic to a certain temperature and driven by a big screw through the gate and into the mold. Pressure is also applied to the mold for the duration of a specified cooling time.
At a certain point, the screw is removed and the mold opens before the part is ejected.
Tips to Consider in Injection Molding Design
Now that you know what injection molding is and its processes, let’s show you some tips that’ll guide your production.
They include the following:
1. Focus on Material Selection:
We cannot emphasize enough that the material you opt for in creating your injection molding products is important. Using the right material will ensure that you design a finished product with the highest quality.
What’s more, a product with remarkable quality will tend to last longer. It’ll also save you the cost of production since you won’t have to waste extra material to recreate these products or replace damaged parts.
Therefore, dedicate the time, energy, and research needed to choose the right material that will be most suited for your components.
On the other hand, it is worth noting that there is a range of materials and each of them reacts differently to the injection molding process.
Thus, you need to know what to expect ahead of time in terms of cooling rates, minimum wall thickness, shrinkage, and durability.
2. Add Texture into Your Design:
Textured products give your designs more appeal, which is quite common to find several products featuring it.
Accordingly, there are two approaches you can adopt to adding textures into your injection molded projects. The first is adding the texture using a specialized mold that includes these textures as the product is molded.
On the contrary, there’s the alternative of waiting after the injection molding process before adding the texture.
Now the first option will save you time and money since there are really no secondary texture processes to go through.
Therefore, if you choose to go that route, here’s what you can do. Opt for etched or milled molds that will help in creating the textured product.
3. Collaborate with an Engineer:
Did you know that collaborating with an engineer can save you the time, energy, and extra resources that may be required to create your components?
An engineer or specialist in the field has advanced knowledge on injection molding, as well as, the intricacies of mold design. This extensive knowledge, therefore, makes it easy to enhance the design of your components.
It will ensure that you get molds and components feature the qualities you’ve already mapped out.
That being the case, it’s now left for you to search for a reputable engineer in the field who will be able to offer comprehensive services.
The engineer or professional company you settle for will be able to answer your queries or concerns you have regarding the injection molding process.
4. Consider the Product’s Wall Thickness:
It may be useful to reduce the product’s wall thickness in a bid to save money. The same can be said about aiming to streamline the injection molding process.
However, while aiming to gain these benefits, you also have to ensure that these parts are not too thin. If they are, you’ll end up with a finished product that is weak or unreliable.
Therefore, it’s useful to consider shrinkage and also create designs with the right wall thickness. It’ll ensure that you end up with a successful part and even save you money in the long run.
These are the tips for injection molding design and they should guide your design of parts that’ll stand the test of time.
The design process will reduce the wastage of resources and, therefore, save you money.
And remember, there’s a reputable engineer you should also fall back on to get professional help in your design process. This engineer will steer you on the right path if at any point you’re making mistakes that could pose grave consequences to your final product.
Therefore, give these tips your utmost consideration.
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