When you need large quantities of custom plastics, particularly small or complex shapes, injection molding is often the best manufacturing option. However, many companies balk at this process, concerned that there are too many limitations involved, including high costs and long lead times. Many concerns are a result of outdated misconceptions, so to help you make an informed decision as to whether injection molding is the right option for your next project, we’re breaking down six common myths.
Injection Molding Is Expensive
Let’s look at the most common misconception first – that injection molding is cost-prohibitive. While the tooling cost required to make a heavy-duty, double-sided mold used for multiple product runs or seven-figure quantity runs is more expensive than other molding methods, it’s only the upfront cost that’s the concern. Once fabricated, the steel mold can be used for as long as it’s needed, making the per-unit cost much lower than you may realize.
Injection Molding Can Produce Any Shape
While injection molding is incredibly versatile, one common myth is that a mold can be designed and successfully produce literally any shape. However, the design has to support moldability. Melt flow and uniform cooling must be factored into the design to ensure the plastic freezes consistently and at the same rate, otherwise, the part will fail.
Post-Production on Injection Molded Parts Is Excessive
Bright colors, textures, and other customizations have to be added after molding, right? Not necessarily! Often, we can add the desired texture into the mold and can match almost any color to create the exact shade of plastic you want. By adding details during the molding process, we can cut down on finishing and post-production, reducing cost and lead time.
Injection Molding Requires Excessive Lead Time
While there’s no question that designing a double-sided mold for a part that requires varying thickness, textures, and angles requires precision and accuracy, innovations in prototyping and fabrication has reduced the lead times significantly. At our injection molding company, our lead times are often just a few weeks longer than thermoforming.
Only Steel Can Be Used in Injection Molding Tooling
Steel is the most common material used in injection molding tooling because it’s incredibly durable and can withstand the hundreds of pounds of pressure exerted by the equipment over hundreds of thousands of product runs. However, when a lower quantity is needed and thermoforming isn’t a feasible option, molds can be fabricated from aluminum alloy or copper alloy. These molds are often capable of producing thousands of accurate, high-quality parts.
Only Certain Materials Can Be Molded
A common assumption is that only specially formulated plastics can be used for injection molding which drives the per-unit price up or the plastic that can be used won’t work with your part design. In reality, thermoplastics, plastics that retain their chemical structure even when heated to melting and cooled to a solid state, can all be used. This includes ABS, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, and so many others. We can work with you to determine the best polymer that will meet the goals of the plastic component you need.
Contact Our Injection Molding Company for a Free Quote
When you need high-quality, durable custom plastics with a quick lead time and low per-unit cost, reach out to Advanced Plastiform, Inc. We work with companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.
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