Cnc Machining Vs Injection Molding
While injection molding has a high upfront cost for the molds, at a certain volume injected parts do become cheaper than machined parts. This crossover can occur from as little as 100 parts up to about 5000, depending on the part. But there are still several scenarios in which CNC machining is a better choice than injection molding.
- Speed Creating an injection mold can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. When you need parts fast, CNC machining is the perfect solution.
- Better tolerances When you need tight tolerances, nothing beats plastic machining. At Reading Plastic, we excel at producing plastic parts with tolerances of +/- .001.
- Material selection Not all plastic materials can be injection molded, limiting your selection of materials. CNC machining offers a much greater selection of materials, including high performance and specialty plastics.
- Design flexibility Design features that would be difficult or cost prohibitive in injection molding are easily accommodated with plastic machining. It is also easy to modify a design with machining, allowing you to offer customized parts that meet the specific needs of your clients.
Plastic Injection Molding: Process Product Examples And Costs
November 11, 2019 by
If you want to start a product manufacturing project, its not necessary to know everything about plastic injection molding. However, having a big picture of the manufacturing process and the most common promotional products, would help you to understand the best way this manufacturing process can help your business strategy.
This guide will help you to plan an initial budget for your entire project, but first, you have to know the different processes involved in the creation of a new plastic piece. Budget and time of fabrication are deeply related to the kind of product you want to fabricate, this implies understanding how things get done and the options you have to accomplish the result you want.
Cost Of The Plastic Injection Mold
As earlier discussed, injection molds come in different sizes and sell at different prices. To purchase a plastic injection mold, you may be looking at spending a thousand dollars or even tens of thousands, depending on the machines complexity. However, if you need a single cavity mold, you dont have to bother about spending so much on purchasing a mold with multiple cavities.
Read Also: Bathroom Ceiling Mould Removal
The Cost To Make A Plastic Injection Mold
The determining factors in the cost of your mold are a combination of the part size, complexity, material, and anticipated quantities. For instance, if you wanted 1,000 washers per year, we would recommend a single cavity mold, meaning it makes one washer per machine cycle. In that case, the mold would probably be $1,000-2,000.
However, needing 100,000 Xbox controllers every month is a different story. For this requirement, we would build a 12 cavity hardened family mold which would make four Fronts, four Backs, and four Button Trees every cycle. Of course, this type of mold comes with a cost. Youd better have $60-$80,000 or more to invest!
These examples are extreme, but they illustrate the range of costs to anticipate. Your particular part will most likely fall somewhere in between that. At Rex Plastics, our molds average around $12,000.
What Does A Molding Operator Do
The job duties of an injection molding operator include working to set up and operate machines that shape plastic or other materials through a process called injection molding. Your responsibilities usually involve working in a manufacturing setting and preparing your machine for each production run.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold From Leather Jacket
Key Economic Differences Between Injection Molding & 3d Printing
It is difficult to compare the costs of injection molding and 3D printing because the processes are fundamentally different not just in terms of how they work, but in how their respective costs are determined.
In general terms, injection molding is a process with high startup costs: metal molds are expensive to make, and that preliminary step can be an insurmountable hurdle for some small businesses. However, once a mold has been fabricated, the cost of each injected shot of plastic is very low.
3D printing is different because, unlike injection molding, it is a one-step process. No tooling is needed, and the finished part comes straight out of the printer. This means there are no obstructive startup costs.
That being said, the cost of a single plastic 3D printed part is generally higher than a shot of injected plastic. This is because 3D printing filament is more expensive than plastic pellets, and because the sheer slowness of 3D printers means that service providers must charge more for their operation.
With that in mind, the most importance difference between the two processes is that the cost-per-unit of injection molding is dynamic: it decreases as the number of units increases. With 3D printing, on the other hand, the cost-per-unit is static: parts will usually cost the same amount whether you order one or 1,000 of them.
Finding that quantity depends on several factors.
Give Me The Best And Worst
Customers are usually shocked when they are told their injection mold can range from $12,000 on the low end to $100,000+ on the high end. Steel costs are currently at an all-time high, second only to July 2020, however, market indicators are showing that 2021 will bring a sharp decline in pricing. With steel being more costly, customers have the option for aluminum which is a great fit for some parts, and if volumes are under 50,000 a year. But its not just the steel costs, its the hours and hours of machining time required to make sure the mold can be heated or cooled, and parts can be ejected from the mold that drive the cost as well. We understand tooling is a big cost and usually the deciding factor on whether a project will move forward. There are many different financing options, and for more information on financing your mold please read our blog: .
Let the small business partnership experts at Extreme Molding work with you to manufacturer your plastic or silicone product efficiently and domestically right here in America. Contact us today!
You May Like: Black Mold In Grout
D Printing Plastic Parts
3D printing exhibits a number of advantages when compared to legacy processes such as injection molding. The most important of these is the added flexibility 3D printing allows in design.
Most obviously, 3D printing can make components either impossible or expensive and difficult to achieve using injection molding, such as components that are hollow in certain areas. This is possible, as in 3D printing material is added in layers, and material density of the core can be altered. So, not only can some areas be hollow, but other critical areas can be reinforced. This means that 3D printing is a key facilitator when it comes to lightweighting, but with increased strength.
With 3D printing, ideal material conditions throughout a part are dictated by design, not by the vagaries of various production and post-production processes used.
3D printing also promotes what can be called the consolidation of complexity. The technology can combine parts and features in one build that would otherwise have to be post-processed or assembled using conventional injection molding and allied technologies. And, printed parts can be more ergonomic and incorporate multiple parts and features that would be impossible or prohibitively expensive to achieve via the fabrication of highly complex injection molding tooling.
3D printing is a highly reliable, cost-effective and relatively easy-to-use production technology for small- to medium-volume applications and can rival injection molding.
How Much Is My Mold Going To Cost
This must be the most asked question in the LSR & Plastics molding industry. As a sales representative, it is my job to help guide you in the most efficient and cost effective way of getting your product to market.
It all starts with a well designed CAD file, hopefully. I say hopefully because quite often there are slight changes that are required to the CAD files to make the product injection-moldable. Sometimes it is just as simple as adding a draft angle, and other times it requires complete redesign to avoid costly tooling needs. Please read why CAD files are needed here: .
Read Also: Clean Mold Off Ceiling
Cost Of Polymer Resin Material
Polymer resin for injection molding
A polymer resin is an essential part of the production. Therefore, the quality of Polymer resin used in the production will influence the plastic injection molding cost. For instance, if you make parts using engineering resin with extra strength and chemical resistance, the material will be a little more expensive than those made of commodity resin-like polyethylene. If you want low-cost injection molding, you can opt for resins made from recycled plastics. They are more affordable.
Why Is Injection Moulding So Expensive
May 29, 2018
Cost is always a major consideration when youre choosing the best plastic manufacturing process for creating your plastic products. The tricky thing is, however, that the costs are often relative, and can go up or down depending on a number of factors including the size of your product, how many you need and how quickly you need them. This means that while processes like injection moulding can be an economical option for some businesses, for others it can be prohibitively expensive. In this weeks post, well examine a bit more about why these costs can rise to be quite so high, and why our own roto-moulding process can be a particularly viable alternative.
Read Also: Ultraviolet Light Mold Removal
How Much Does Plastic Injection Moulding Cost
The price of injection moulding varies with every project. Due to the initial upfront cost of the mould and tooling, the greater the number of parts being produced, the lower the overall unit costs. This is because tooling costs can be absorbed across more parts. Mass-produced parts often use injection moulding as it is the most economical and timely way to produce plastic parts at high volumes.
Get Started With Rapid Injection Molding
While injection molding is traditionally considered a manufacturing process only for mass production due to its high tooling costs, leveraging 3D printing to fabricate injection molds empower you to use this process to produce high-quality and repeatable parts for prototyping and low-volume production.
Use 3D printed injection molds with both benchtop and industrial machines to efficiently and affordably produce hundreds to thousands of functional prototypes, parts to accelerate product development, reduce costs and lead times, and bring better products to market.
Read Also: Mold On Leather
Molding Defects Often Caused By Process Problems
Some molding defects may be difficult or costly to address. Others can be prevented by adjusting the molding process, without the need to redesign the mold tooling or replace other production equipment. You can typically avoid these defects relatively easily simply by adjusting the flow rate, temperature or pressure of your mold.
Examples Of Polymers Best Suited For The Process
Most polymers, sometimes referred to as resins, may be used, including all thermoplastics, some thermosets, and some elastomers. Since 1995, the total number of available materials for injection moulding has increased at a rate of 750 per year there were approximately 18,000 materials available when that trend began. Available materials include alloys or blends of previously developed materials, so product designers can choose the material with the best set of properties from a vast selection. Major criteria for selection of a material are the strength and function required for the final part, as well as the cost, but also each material has different parameters for moulding that must be taken into account.:6 Other considerations when choosing an injection moulding material include flexural modulus of elasticity, or the degree to which a material can be bent without damage, as well as heat deflection and water absorption. Common polymers like epoxy and phenolic are examples of thermosetting plastics while nylon, polyethylene, and polystyrene are thermoplastic.:242 Until comparatively recently, plastic springs were not possible, but advances in polymer properties make them now quite practical. Applications include buckles for anchoring and disconnecting outdoor-equipment webbing.
Recommended Reading: How To Mold Leather Holster
The Factors Affecting The Cost Of Injection Moulding
We recently went into a bit of detail on exactly how injection moulding works essentially, pressured injectors introduce hot plastic into a pre-formed mould. As the plastic cools, the plastic part forms and then the mould is split apart so that the final parts can be extracted.
Now, one of the key steps that often has a major influence on cost is the tooling stage. Since plastic products created using injection moulding are generally smaller and more intricate than those created by rotomoulding, there is naturally a higher investment of time and labour involved in creating them, which can ultimately increase the cost. Whats more, since there is often a smaller size limit on the sort of parts that can be created by injection moulding, this means that several separate tools might need to be manufactured in order to produce all the parts used to make the larger final product.
Most injection moulds are machined from high-grade steel and the cavity of each tool is machined, ground and polished to extremely tight tolerances. In other words, the manufacturing process is much more exacting as the tools are machined to incredibly precise definitions, and naturally this more intensive process again results in an associated rise in cost.
Why Is Rotomoulding Often Cheaper
Roto-moulding, on the other hand, can be an excellent economical alternative for small to medium batch runs of between 1 and 100. One factor that makes roto moulding cheaper and more cost effective than injection moulding is that the level of product detail required is often lower products are usually more simple and therefore tooling costs reflect that. Roto moulded products tend to be larger and variations in wall thickness and shrinkage are accepted as being the norm, whereas with injection moulding the end product has to be far more precise.
Thats not to say that roto moulded products are always simple and straightforward, of course its worth considering that more complex technical roto mouldings are frequently used by a vast array of industries including the aerospace, defence, leisure and construction sectors just to name a few! In fact, here at Excelsior we frequently manufacture a number of plastic products that require very tight tolerances, so it usually just depends on the specific application in question.
Alternatively, you can itself, or if you have any questions or need any advice, feel free to give us a call on 0161 765 2010!
Recommended Reading: How To Get Mold Smell Out Of Basement
Cost Of Polymer Resin
You can expect the cost to waver depending on the thermoplastics being used. Your choice of resin will be the greatest indicator of your price per part. If your parts require the use of an engineering resin, known for its strength and resistance to chemicals, the materials will be a few cents more expensive than a commodity resin, such as polyethylene. Using resins made from recycled plastics as we do at Midstate Mold & Engineering is also more cost-effective. To find the average costs of plastics, visit Plastics Newss website.
The Merits Of Building A Mold In The Us
The Rodon Group has been in this business long enough to have worked with, or attempted to work with, molds that were created in Asia . Many of these molds are not built to meet strict tolerances, since they dont have to be. As labor costs rise in China, this no longer becomes an affordable manufacturing process. In addition, molds made in other countries are made from lesser quality steel or aluminum. Again, this causes quality issues and shortens the life of the mold. Most high-production molders in this country use only the best stainless steel available for the mold base and cavities. They utilize the latest technology in CNC machining and have seasoned tool makers who know how to create molds that meet the highest performance standards. When sourcing companies, be sure to look for U.S. based manufacturers.
Read Also: How To Install Stair Nose Molding
Cold Runners Versus Hot Runners
Runners is the term used for the channels incorporated into a mold for the hot resin to travel through to reach each cavity.
Larger runners allow the resin to flow more easily and at lower pressures. However, large channels require more time to cool and create more scrap, both of which impact the part cost.
Smaller runners, on the other hand, minimize cooling time, scrap, and ultimately part cost. The downside to small runners is the higher pressure required to force the hot resin to flow through them.
A solution that facilitates the use of small runners while also minimizing the required pressure is to use what are known as hot runners.
Small heating elements are incorporated into the mold near the runners so as to keep the resin more molten allowing it to flow more easily at lower pressure.
NOTE: Be sure to download your free PDF guide 15 Steps to Develop Your New Electronic Hardware Product.
Nothing is ever free though, and the downside of hot runners is the additional mold complexity which always translates into additional costs.
In most cases, at least initially, you are best off using only runners without heating elements which are referred to as cold runners. Remember, always start with the simplest, lowest cost solution.
Injection Molding Machine Line Integrates Mucell Foam Technology
| Dec 16, 2021
South Koreas LS Mtron has introduced a new line of injection molding machines that come equipped with Trexel MuCell technology for foam molding applications.
The ONE MuCell line consists of 10 injection molding machines ranging in size from 550 to 3,600 tons. Key features include a core back function, which stabilizes and maximizes foaming rates, and a servo valve for precise position control.
LS Mtron provides a one-stop solution for foam molding in various applications, ranging from molds and auxiliary equipment to complete turnkey machines.
LS Mtron signed an agreement to license Trexel’s MuCell technology in 2019. It satisfies customers lightweighting and quality requirements while improving their productivity and reducing cost, said LS Mtron.
“Through this agreement with Trexel, we will cooperate not only for current micro cell technology but also for future nano cell technology development to continuously strengthen lightweight technology, said LS Mtron Chief Technology Officer Kyung-Nyung Woo.
South Koreas largest injection molding machine manufacturer, LS Mtron is a division of LS Corp., a $30 billion conglomerate. It currently produces approximately 2,800 machines per year.
Recommended Reading: Cleaning Mold Off Plastic