Functionality & Injection Molding Design: What You Need to Know
Injection molding is just one of the methods manufacturers use to get their products to market. It can be used to produce toys, medical devices, automotive parts, electrical components, and much more. Advantage Engineering is well-equipped to bring your ideas to fruition using this process. Through cutting-edge digital manufacturing techniques and strategic rapid prototyping services, we can help you complete your projects on time and with the highest levels of precision.
How to Begin Your Injection-Molding Project
During this stage of the production process, the key is to start small and prototype quickly. From your initial proof of concept (PoC) to the final sample, your prototype could go through several testing phases before it's ready to go to market. Injection molding is a technique that can yield production-quality results according to your timeline.
Start with a pilot run and then gradually scale up production. Your pilot run can range anywhere from 500 to 10,000 parts, and costs vary depending on the materials used and the complexity of the design. Common materials used for injection molding include:
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)
Glass-filled acetal copolymer (PolyOxy-Methylene)
Your prototype or completed part can also be finished in several ways. From glossy and textured finishes to paint and silk screening, a variety of post-processing options can be incorporated to complete your vision of how the final design should appear.
Find an Injection Molding Company That Can Scale Production Seamlessly
Backed by decades of experience, Advantage Engineering is the definitive partner in pre-production manufacturing services. Taking a customer-focused approach, our team of experts leverages flexible, modern solutions to help you innovate confidently and stay at the forefront of your industry. Our scalable production capabilities are all in-house, making us better equipped than other low-volume injection molding companies to help you seamlessly ramp up to production when your design is finalized.
We also offer the fastest lead times on the market. Aluminum molds are simple to manufacture and can withstand upwards of 200,000 shots per injection cycle. With lead times as low as two weeks for T1 samples and as little as one week after T1 approval, we can help you complete your projects up against tight deadlines.
Tips for Creating Injection-Molded Parts
Before embarking on the prototyping phase, you may have to tailor your design according to the production process. Some designs can lead to common injection molding defects, such as warping, sink marks, drag marks, knit lines, and others that can compromise the integrity and overall cost of your part. Here are a few key points to consider:
Keep uniformity in mind. Uniform wall thickness can lead to more structurally sound designs. If the walls are inconsistent in thickness, they'll cool at different rates. This could lead to warping, twisting, or cracking. To circumvent this issue, create a design that's uniform. If variances in wall thickness can't be avoided, ensure the transitions between thicker and thinner levels are as smooth as possible.
Make thicker sections hollow. Wall thickness determines how much material will be used. The more material you use in your design, the longer your prototype will take to cool and the more costly it may be. Consider hollowing out thicker sections. This helps cut down on potential defects, such as warping and sinking, and limits the maximum thickness of any one section of your design. For improved strength, use ribs to add stiffness to these hollowed sections.
Add a draft angle. Tapering the wall of your project (adding draft) makes it easier for your part to eject out of the mold when complete. If your mold is not designed with draft in mind, it could lead to drag marks and other undesirable results.
Create rounded edges and corners. Sharp corners often result in stress points that can lead to potential weaknesses. Creating a design with rounded corners and edges can remedy this issue. This design element promotes optimal material flow through the mold and greater overall strength.
Reduce costs. If you're working within a tight budget, keep cost-saving measures in mind throughout the process. The main cost drivers in injection molding are tooling, plastic material, and production volume. Selecting a straight-pull mold to avoid undercuts and finding ways to fit multiple parts in a single mold to reduce production time are just two methods for keeping costs low.
One of the biggest tips we can provide is to seek professional advice. Prototyping and production projects are easier with an expert by your side. At Advantage Engineering, we offer full DFM support from dedicated engineer designers and quality assurance personnel to ensure your parts meet your expectations.
Receive a Rapid Quote Today
We're proud to be the catalyst for some of the most innovative products across the globe. Let us help you get started on your next big project. Receive a quote in seconds through our online system or connect with us in person to learn more about injection molding. Headquartered in Oldcastle, ON, the team at Advantage Engineering is ready to help you address the unique challenges of your next big idea.