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AIM Processing Small Plastic Parts Blog

Essential Injection Molding Guidelines for Customers New to the Process

[fa icon="calendar"] May 30, 2024 12:01:00 AM / by Jon Gelston

plastic-injection-metal-mold-manufacture

Embarking on a new custom injection molding project can be intimidating, especially for customers who are new to the industry. If you’ve never seen the process through from start to finish, it can seem extremely complex and even overwhelming with all of the details you’re expected to bring to the table.

That’s why AIM Processing put together this basic guide to plastic injection molding. Below, we lay out the crucial information you need to consider about your products along with the major steps to come once your project is underway.

From understanding the plastic molding process to material choice and process optimization, we want to make sure your project runs as smoothly as possible.

Understanding the Basic Plastic Injection Molding Process

You should start by familiarizing yourself with the basic steps in plastic injection molding. Essentially, the process involves melting plastic pellets and injecting the molten plastic into a mold. The plastic rehardens as it cools and solidifies, and the finished part is ejected from the mold. Keeping the overall process in mind can help you understand its strengths and limitations when you’re developing future products.

Check out our related blogs for a more detailed rundown on the process:

You also need to consider the many different types of plastic material options and their unique physical/mechanical properties in order to select the appropriate material for your product. Backed by decades of combined expertise in materials science, the experts at AIM are happy to assist you in choosing the ideal material specifically for your parts.

The information in our recent blog on selecting the best injection molding materials for electronic enclosures can also be applied to many other product categories:

Design Your Products and Define Your Project

Well before we begin manufacturing, we need to refine your product design and define the scope of your project. We put a lot of thought into design for manufacturability, which ensures your products will be produced accurately, consistently, and as cost-effectively as possible with our specific processes. Beyond clearly defining product dimensions, tolerances, and aesthetic qualities, we will work with you to properly engineer all functional requirements of your end products.

You also should determine the expected production volume so that we can choose the right mold cavitation to build the most effective tooling for the job at hand. Essentially, the more detailed you define your products and project from the start, the better we can optimize our process every step of the way.

A couple of our recent blogs focusing on injection molded product design may be of help as you finalize the details of your project:

Create a Detailed Part Design for Injection Molding

The injection molding process can be very accommodating for complex designs but there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind to make sure it meets your expectations.

Some of our specific review points will include wall thickness, draft angles, rib design, and avoiding undercuts – all of which are essential to preserving quality and consistency in injection molding. See the following blogs for a more detailed discussion of these and other design optimizations:

Set Up the Injection Molding Process

Once your product designs are finalized with detailed files, it’s finally time to begin the manufacturing process. We will develop precision mold tooling and choose the right molding machine based on your specific part size, complexity, and production volume.

Our technicians ensure all process parameters are optimized including injection pressure, temperature, cooling time, and overall cycle time. With a highly experienced injection molding company like AIM, you can leave all of these more advanced details to us.

End-to-End Plastic Injection Molding Services

Based in the Denver, Colorado region since 1993, AIM Processing is one of the leading injection molding companies in the Western US and beyond. By following strict guidelines and quality control procedures, we ensure our customers receive quality-built products manufactured to their specifications and delivered on time.

Topics: Plastic Injection Molding Defects, Plastic Types, Quality, Texture, Choosing the right plastic injection molder

Jon Gelston

Written by Jon Gelston