So, you have a great product idea, and now you’re ready to partner with a plastics manufacturer to make it a reality. How do you know whether injection molding is right for your product?
In many cases, the product is already designed before you find a molder to work with. However, we recommend getting their advice as early as possible, and deferring to their expertise when it counts. The key to great plastic prototype design in Utah is to work closely with your fabricator—to prepare, you can go over these considerations to determine whether injection molding is the right process for you.
What kind of materials will you use?
You’ll probably know what kind of material you need early on in the process—and many designers base their design on what kind of material may be available at a good discount. Certain resins will be better for some projects than others, while others might be cheaper but won’t hold up to designer specifications. Before you move forward, make sure you and your molder agree on the materials to be used.
What is your tolerance range?
Generally, designers should provide generous tolerances in case of variation, which might occur in the tool design, materials and process control—but that’s not always possible. You might find that your component design requires tight tolerances. If this is the case, work with your molder to design as much tolerance as possible, either in a specific component or by adding more clearance in an adjoining part.
How do you avoid sink marks?
Ask your molder where they anticipate there may be sink marks in the final product. Once you know where the possibility for sink marks may occur, you and your molder can work together to ensure that there are adjustments and possible backup plans to accommodate.
Do you need steel safe areas?
Working with your molder will help you determine where your products might have details that can’t be easily replicated by injection molding. This means you’ll need to design steel safe areas, or extra clearance that can be machined away after the product is molded. Depending on your goals for the product and how exactly the component must be manufactured, you and your molder should be able to come to a reasonable compromise. This is another reason it’s so important to work closely with a molder.
Where can you compromise on gate location?
You should aim to work with your molder and tool designer in order to find the appropriate gate locations. Gate location affects everything from potential stress areas to wall thickness and surface properties. It’s important to be willing to work with your molder in the event that your ideal design isn’t quite a match for the reality of the molded product.
Generally, a two-week turnaround for plastic products costs $500, and if you need it in one week, add an extra $300. For injection molding and plastic prototype design in Utah, work with D&D Plastics—call us today to get started designing and manufacturing your plastic products.
Categorised in: Injection Molding
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