With dozens of factors to consider before beginning an injection molding project, designing a successful part can be challenging.
You understand your part and its application as well as its relation to other parts; you’ve carefully selected a resin; you’ve spent countless hours meticulously designing the part. But are you ready to begin the injection molding process?
Know When You’re Ready to Start
There are a number of indicators that your part is ready to enter production, or that you are at least at the point where you can start contacting injection molders. Consider these criteria a sort of Injection Molding 101, outlining the basic requirements to fulfill before beginning your project.
These are all fairly standard requirements — if you are missing any of them, you may be moving too quickly. Below, we’ve delved into some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
Understand Your Application
This may seem obvious — after all, if you are designing a part, you likely have knowledge of its application. But how deep is that knowledge? Are you familiar with every possible use case? Have you identified every form of stress your part will be subjected to, or calculated how strong this stress may be?
It’s imperative to review the application for your part thoroughly before moving ahead with the production process.
Have a Material in Mind
There are hundreds of plastic resins available for injection molding, not to mention a virtually unlimited number of customized combinations of different resins.
Each resin has different chemical and physical properties. Some are resistant to environmental conditions such as sunlight and temperature fluctuations, while others are weak in that area but perform well in continually high-temperature or caustic environments.
While “strength” is a common go-to attribute, simply selecting the strongest resin will not necessarily result in a part that performs well in its application.
Be Prepared for Production
There also several production-related considerations to take into account before reaching out to an injection molder.
First, know how many parts you need. Second, have a CAD or similar file ready — generally this is not required, but it’s very helpful to the injection molder and can save a considerable amount of time. Third, know the timeframe in which you need the production run completed. Finally, not all injection molding methods are created equal — be sure to do your research and determine which specific injection molding production process will best serve your injection mold design.
These three must-haves are just a sampling of the factors to consider before approaching an injection molder and beginning the production process for your part.
At Decatur Mold, we’ve been providing top-quality injection molding services since 1966. Our 87,000-square-foot facility operates around the clock, 24/7, and we’re proud to offer our customers quick service for all their injection molding needs.
To learn more about how to best prepare for your injection molding project, visit our webpage on Injection Molding here or read up on the basics of rapid prototyping by clicking here or the button below.