Variables That Impact The Injection Mold Cost
Tooling costs for injection molding are very high and depend on a number of parameters and design complexity. Molds for injection molding are normally CNC machined out of aluminum or tool steel, EDM machined to shape a workpiece, or 3D printed. The machined or printed part is then finished to achieve the desired standard. The finished mold consists of features such as the surface geometries needed for a part, a runner system to guide the flow of injected materials, and cooling channels to ensure the mold cools down quickly.
It is important to note that a majority of the injection molding process is dedicated to cooling. The quicker a mold cools down the faster the injected material solidifies and the faster the production cycle can be repeated. Thus, cooling channels play an important role, especially for high-volume production, and should be included in the design of the mold. For low-volume production with 3D printed molds, manual cooling using compressed air is an option.
A 3D printed injection mold core assembled with a metal mold shell.
Other variables that impact the injection molding process and directly relate to the injection mold costs include:
Comparing Quotes In Injection Molding
The task of obtaining quotes from injecting molders for projects requires procurement and purchasing managers. The cost varies greatly depending on the input, including prototypes, drawings, and sample parts. Designers check the inputs to establish the best molding solution and redesign the part to maximize manufacturing efficiency to increase the components produced with each cycle.
Typically, mold made with more cavities, tighter tolerances, and a longer production life take longer to construct and cost higher upfront. These high-quality molds yield long-term savings, require less maintenance, and last longer.
Is 3d Printing As Strong As Injection Molding
Yes, injection molded parts are stronger than 3d printed parts. Usually, if we ship 3d printed parts to our US or other country customers, we use a wooden/plywood case to protect them during transportation. But if they are injection molded parts, usually no need to use wooden case but just hard paper carton.
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Injection Molding Cost Calculators
Online injection molding cost estimators or quotes from injection molding service providers can provide benchmarks and help you estimate the cost of injection molding specific parts.
Injection molding cost estimator options to aid the calculation process include:
A molding cost comparison table also serves a similar purpose. Injection molding service providers use cost comparison tables to provide prospective customers with a rough estimate of the process.
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Injection Molding Tooling Cost And Metal
Additionally, the type of metal used to make a mold can affect injection molding cost. Aluminum is cheaper than steel, however, aluminum cannot be modified or repaired as easily as steel molds and in most cases aluminum molds cannot be repaired or modified at all. Steel molds are sometimes slightly more expensive, but they can last for longer production runs, can be easily modified/welded and reworked for changes in design or for repairs. This is why ICOMold uses prehardened-steel for our injection molding tooling. By using steel, we save our customers time and money. We can keep the cost for injection molded parts down.
Labor Or Service Costs
The equipment associated with injection molding is generally self-regulating and relies on automation to get the job done. CNC machines, EDM machines, and 3D printers rely on the specifications of the CAD design to produce a mold. The injection molding machine also relies on automation to inject materials into the mold, and industrial IM machines often cool and eject the finished item autonomously.
Labor costs include:
Setup/configuration cost: The setup labor focuses on the time taken to configure the utilized equipment to produce the mold and the finished product.
Repair cost: Repair and maintenance tasks involve the replacement of defective parts and the use of tools to execute the maintenance process.
Monitoring costs: Despite the reliance on automation, equipment operators are expected to monitor the progress of the injection molding process. Operator wages accrued during the process are added to the total cost of injection molding.
When producing in-house, these costs are calculated into the labor costs. When a business outsources injection molding, the labor and the markup of the service provider are added to the service cost.
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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!
Downstream Benefits And Cost Savings
Depending on the nature of and market for your product, greater effort up front in accounting for project contingencies results in several cost-cutting downstream benefits, including:
Improved part consistency and production run replication
- Minimal rework and scrap
Increased part reliability and fewer returns
Greater production line flexibility and repurposing without requiring excessive maintenance or downtime
Faster time to market for a distinct competitive advantage
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Mud Tool Set Vs Stand
Stand-alone, dedicated molds are very common, but they are not the only option. Tooling inserts can be used in conjunction with a standardized master mold frame to save cost and mold build time. These types of tooling inserts, like DMEs MUD inserts, only require the manufacturing of the tooling that forms the parts, while the other mold base features, those items required for the actual function of the mold, are contained in the master frame. This option reduces the initial tooling cost since the manufacturer bears the bulk of the mold costs. MUD frame tooling options are often most advantageous for low to medium size production runs that cannot benefit from high volume economics. Ultimately, the decision to build a stand-alone tool or MUD toolset will depend on the mold complexity needed, and economics based on the required production volume.
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.
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Plastic Injection Molding Price Guide
As a full-service plastic injection molding company that manufactures molds from conception to completion, pricing for each job we fulfill can vary dramatically.
But we know injection molding price estimates are critical to any successful project.
Thats why weve put together the following price guide to help you budget for your mold. The injection molding cost examples are categorized by type , and degree of difficulty .
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.
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Factors That Affect The Upfront Cost Of Mold
You should think of the mold as a mid to long-term investment. Molds can last between 1000 cycles to 1,000,000 cycles. The number of cycles gets given by the manufacturers SPI standards. Well made molds can continue to give good output even past their expected lifetime. You can expect that the price of the mold will affect product pricing. While a manufacturer can set a price based on the cost of manufacturing. For competitive products, the price is already set by the market. So the return on investment can only come from cost management. Having efficient machinery and tools contribute a lot. So you want a mold that can make you a million cycles well. In doing so it costs little in maintenance, runs fast, and makes near zero rejected parts. Below chart gives an estimate of how different charges contribute to total mold cost.
The American Mold Builders Association provides worksheets manufacturers and engineers can use. This helps to estimate how much the mold will cost. So whether you decide to buy offshore or within your country it depends on different factors. Some might decide to work with a local mold maker. Some countries lack the technical capacity to make professional molds. Or at least not to the standard does not exist. In such cases getting one from an offshore mold maker is a better option.
Image showing worksheet presented by AMBA
The factors affecting the cost of the mold in summary are as follows:
- Type of material
How Much Does Plastic Injection Mold Cost
If you are interested in getting plastic parts manufactured on a large scale, you are probably interested in understanding all of the cost factors involved. Obviously, with any manufacturing project, there will be many different factors that influence pricing, so it is not possible to create a blanket statement for how much a manufacturing job would cost. Every part is unique, the processes needed to create the part, the timeline of the project, and other factors will greatly change how much you can expect to pay. That is why it is always recommended to find a plastic manufacturer and get a quote or bid on your job. But even before that, there are a few things to know about what increases the cost of manufacturing your plastic part.
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Injection Molding Material Cost
Material selection is another consideration in determining what plastic injection molds cost. Any plastic product made from fiberglass filled material, for example, will wear down most common molds. Only a mold made from hardened tool steel can withstand injection molding with fiberglass filled material.
How Much Does A Plastic Injection Mold Cost In China
To some extent, it is a lot to ask how much a plastic injection mold costs. It is a like asking How much does your car cost? Will your mold be a Toyota or a Bentley?
The factors that determine the cost you pay for a mold are a combination of several elements, including part dimensions, complexity, selected materials and required quantities. For example, if you need 1,000 simple parts every year, we will recommend a single-cavity mold to you, i.e. it produces one part in each cycle. In this case, the mold will probably cost you 1,000 2,000 USD.
Another example: if you need 1,000,000 remote controllers per month, we will create a 16-cavity mold for you, which makes 8 covers and 8 bottoms in every cycle. In this case, however, you will need to pay 4,000 10,000 USD or more.
Surely, the 2 examples mentioned above are every extreme, but it gives us a general idea about how much a mold would cost you, and your specific part will probably fall somewhere in between.
In addition, the selection of material is another factor that determines how much a plastic injection mold may cost. For example, if you require a fiberglass filled product, you will probably need a mold that is made from hardened tool steel, so as to cope with the wear such materials might cause during the injection molding process under high pressure conditions.
No matter what your project needs, One thing ECO Molding would not do is to suggest you invest in a Porsche when all you need is a VW.
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How To Reduce Injection Molding Costs
Injection molding is a very cost-effective way to make high quality plastic parts in mass production, there are many tricks to the production process which will help you reduce injection molding costs or take advantage of cheap plastic injection molds at a high level manufacturing process. Today well present you some tips on how to design for injection molding without costing much money and some of the common mistakes.
9 Best Ways To Save On Injection Molding
Save thousands of dollars on injection molding tooling using these 9 simple injection molding money-saving steps:
1.Coring & Wall Thickness
When you dont have coring inside of your part you have an uneven wall thickness and you also have uneven cooling within the part as well, so you will get sink marks within the park and because you have more material, theres more volume of material to cool and therefore you have an increased cycle time. The more cycle time the more it will cost you. You also have differential shrinkage because the part will have the different shrink rate at the thick sections and your part will go out of tolerance.
Draft is basically angled wall sections. The reason you need to have draft on a injection molded part is that if you dont have draft, the part will not come out of the mold smoothly and itll leave scrape marks. Also if your part is textured or has some kind of geometry, if its not drafted itll rip it right out.
5. Pass-Thru Coring
Product Testing & Analysis
Determining the best possible injection molding process for a given product doesn’t happen by chance. Injection molders house engineering teams specially trained in scientific molding in order to arrive at consistent, repeatable high-quality outcomes throughout all production cycles.
Sophisticated computer modeling is key in testing design features, material characteristics, and mold design. Among the most popular and comprehensive are Moldfill analysis and Finite Element Analysis .
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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.
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: .
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Calculating The Cost Of Injection Molding
As youve seen the injection molding process will feature a few different factors to ensure that the process is accurate. This is essential for the quality of products that will be produced and to build great customer relations. However, the most pressing concern for most businesses is the need to have a clear understanding of the costs they will incur. When it comes to calculating the cost of injection molding, youll find that different factors will come into play. To determine the price, the needs and specifications of the customers have to be taken into consideration. Additionally, once that is determined, the next thing is to consider the different costs of other important injection molding aspects. Some of the costs that you will encounter include: