In today’s world, plastic has become an indispensable material in our daily lives. From packaging and toys to electronic components and car parts, plastic is present in almost every aspect of our existence. Behind this omnipresence are plastic injection molds , a technology that has revolutionized the manufacturing of plastic products.
Plastic injection molds are expensive but fundamental tools in the manufacturing of plastic products. These molds are used to shape different products through the plastic injection process . The process involves heating the plastic until it becomes a liquid state and then injecting it into the mold. Once the plastic cools and solidifies inside the mold, it is extracted to obtain the plastic piece with the desired shape.
Mold design is a fundamental part in the production of plastic parts through mechanization . Good mold design can improve part quality, reduce production times, and lower manufacturing costs. Therefore, in this article we present the best practices for the design of plastic machining molds.
Key Principles for Cost-Effective Mold Design
Plastic injection molds are precisely designed and must be durable to withstand the high level of pressure and temperature during the injection process. These plastic injection molds are typically created from steel or aluminum and require precise machining to achieve the necessary details and tolerances in the final product.
- Consider the geometry of the part: It is important that the mold design adapts to the geometry of the part to be manufactured. The size, shape and complexity of the part must be taken into account to design an efficient mold that produces high-quality parts.
- Use high-quality materials: The use of high-quality materials for the manufacture of the mold is essential to guarantee a long useful life of the mold. The right materials can resist corrosion, wear and high temperatures.
- Design efficient cooling channels: Cooling channels are a key element in mold design. They must be designed in such a way that they allow a uniform distribution of the temperature in the whole mold and that the cooling is fast and efficient.
- Ensures good demolding: Demoulding is the process of removing the part from the mold. A good mold design should allow for easy demolding, which can be achieved with the use of moveable cores and ejectors.
- Consider dimensional tolerance: Dimensional tolerance is the allowable variation in the dimensions of the part. It is important to take this variable into account in the mold design to ensure the precision and quality of the parts.
- Perform computer simulations: Carrying out computer simulations allows the mold design to be analyzed before its manufacture, allowing possible errors in the design to be detected and corrected.
- Perform tests and adjustments: After the manufacture of the mold, tests and adjustments must be carried out to ensure its correct operation. Tests must also be carried out on the manufactured part to ensure its quality.
Strategies for Reducing Costs Without Compromising Quality
Minimizing the number of parts and reducing waste.
Additive manufacturing is a technology that makes it possible to directly manufacture unique tools, managing in some cases to omit assembly processes. Compact parts such as molds, electronic device casings, masks, etc. are obtained.
This not only reduces the manufacturing costs of a product or part but also reduces waste produced in the process.
Product Design Optimization
Today, making a plastic mold design change to a product has a very low cost with additive tools. You can make multiple revisions to the manufactured object and decide how many variations you want to make, each time improving the design in the 3D model. It also increases productivity.
Accelerate Prototyping Work
Build scale models. It allows you to manufacture prototypes and functional parts to test them before production as such.
There is no doubt that for the manufacture of prototypes, the main saving is “time”. Producing a part can take days, especially when it comes to parts that have to be assembled.
Work on cheaper materials
It is known that the material used in most cases to make molds or other objects is aluminum or steel. Regularly the delivery time to obtain a piece made with said material can be between 7 to 10 days.
With the simulation tool, aluminium can be replaced by other thermoplastic materials. The price of these materials such as PLA or ABS is much lower compared to aluminium. The problem may be when several pieces need to be made, this can increase the production cost, leading to the possibility that changes to the design may be required in the review process.
Negotiate costs with mold manufacturers.
Lastly, negotiation is also a major factor for cost reduction in mold manufacturing. While buying products, or doing contracts with plastic injection molding manufacturer alway negotiate prices and terms and conditions.
Real-world Examples and Case Studies
Our latest project was with the company which comes under the consumer goods and packaging industry. They were using injection molding on a vast level due to its versatile nature but this process was causing more expense than usual.
They hired us to provide them with cost effective solutions.
- What we did, we applied the above given cost effective techniques and used simulation tools which provide 3 services in one-design, 3D modeling and engineering.
- Through careful tooling and texturing design, we achieve attractive aesthetics and functionality in their products.
- Proper treatment of seam lines and stability also ensure longer life for these products.
- Additionally, overmolding and secondary operations were used further to improve the appearance and performance of your finished products.
Plastic machining mold design is a critical process that must be done with care and attention. Consideration of factors such as part geometry, high-quality materials, cooling channels, demolding, dimensional tolerance, computer simulation, and testing and adjustment are essential to ensure the quality of the parts produced. By following these best practices, a high-quality and efficient mold can be achieved in the production of plastic parts through mechanization. Contact TDLmould company for mold design