Understanding Precision Injection Molding

You have a brilliant idea for a new invention. You are excited to get the ball rolling, not to mention to get the money flowing. But, it takes a lot of hard work to bring your idea to fruition. Before you even start manufacturing the product, you have to conduct tons of market research, have CAD drawings created, and apply for a patent. Simultaneously, you may also be working on finding investors and preparing your marketing materials, including your name, logo, brand, and website. You think the hardest parts are behind you; but, in reality, it has only just begun. You enter the prototype-building phase, and you are out of your element. All kinds of new phrases are entering your vocabulary, like “precision injection molding.” What in the world is precision injection molding?

What Exactly Is Precision Injection Molding?

Precision injection molding is a manufacturing process in which parts are made by injecting materials into a mold. Once a product has been designed and the CAD drawings have been completed, a mold is created. In fact, this is where the word “precision” comes into the process. In this context, the word “precision” means the ability to create millions, if not billions, of standardized parts with the exact same precision every time. The mold is a crucial piece of the precision injection molding process. The mold must be carefully designed and machined so that every shape and feature of the part to be made will be clearly defined. A toolmaker creates the mold, usually from either steel or aluminum.

After the mold is created, material for the part is fed into, and then melted, a heated barrel, mixed, and then forced into the cavity of the mold. It then cools, which causes the material to harden and conform to the shape of the mold. What type of materials can be used in precision injection molding? Most commonly, a thermoplastic is used; however, metals, glass, and thermosetting polymers can also be used.

What Types of Products Are Made with Precision Injection Molding?

A vast assortment of parts and products are made with precision injection molding. In fact, many of the items you use every single day are made this way. The smallest parts are made this way, including nails, little tiny gears, wire spools, and bottle caps. But, precision injection molding is not just for small objects. The body panels of cars are made this way, too. Of course, products of all shapes and sizes are made with precision injection molding, including combs, musical instruments, tables, storage containers, and even Gameboys. Why? Because precision injection molding is a cost effective and efficient manufacturing process.

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