Why choose injection molding
What is injection molding?
Injection molding is a manufacturing process used to mass-produce parts. It is most commonly used in mass production processes, where the same part is created thousands or even millions of times in a row.
Why can you use injection molding?
The main advantage of injection molding is that it can be mass-produced. Once the initial cost is paid, the price per unit in the injection molding manufacturing process is extremely low. Prices also tend to drop sharply as more parts are produced.
Low injection molding reject rate
Injection molding produces lower scrap rates compared to traditional manufacturing processes, such as CNC and machining, which sever most of the virgin plastic block or sheet. In contrast, however, 3D can be negative for additive manufacturing processes with lower scrap rates, such as printing.
Uniform wall thickness is critical
Injection molding requires a uniform wall thickness. If you were to cut a cross section of a Panasonic mold, you would notice that the overall wall thickness is about 2-3 mm. Keep to prevent defects such as dents during cooling and keep the walls not too thick.
A good rule of thumb is to keep walls less than or equal to 4mm thick. The thicker the walls, the more material you use, the longer the cycle and the higher the cost per part.
Conversely, if the wall thickness is less than 1 mm or so, you may have trouble filling the mold (causing gaps or short shots). Designers can compensate for this potential with materials with a high melt flow index, such as nylon, which are typically suitable for walls as thin as 0.5 mm.
The different manufacturing techniques of CNC do not require a uniform wall thickness at all.
Injection molding is a great technique for mass production of finished products. It is also very useful for final prototypes for consumer or product testing. However, before the post-production stage, 3D printing is more affordable and flexible for products in the early stages of design.
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