Creating a prototype out of a design is essential for an individual or company when they want to produce a product or an item. This part should not be glossed over because it is crucial to test and evaluate the design. It also helps the designer and the engineer to look closer at the production process and the cost. And for the marketing team to have a tangible item for presentation and patents.
To demystify this dynamic production process, we need to know the essential facts about this art and science of prototype injection molding.
What is Prototype Injection Molding?
From the name itself, you already have an idea of how this process is. A molten material, usually plastic, is injected into the mold to create the part or product. There are many fabrication techniques that are available today that ranges from machining, 3D printing to thermal forming. Among them, the most popular is 3D printing. However, each of these techniques has its pros and cons. When you want to create a million pieces of the same plastic part, the best approach is injection molding, and this applies to prototype too.
Here are some of the reasons why this form of prototyping is useful for the production of small detailed parts like joints, housing, and brackets.
When you have low-volume production runs or prototyping, injection molding is a more flexible and reliable option. Also, because it uses materials like thermoplastics that can be heated, cooled, solidified, and melted again without burning, it makes recyclable. When you have excess material, you can reuse them for the next molding runs. Because molding reduces the number of parts and simplifies the process, it also lessens the amount of scraps generated.
When you need several prototypes on a short timeframe, injection molding is the way to go because you can produce many parts all at once quickly. Another advantage is the processed parts will come out in the finished form. There is no need to spend resources and time on treating and completing the final products.
Can Produce Detailed Parts
Most of the mold tools are from steel and aluminum. These materials can afford to make products that are highly detailed and intricate, which other manufacturing techniques cannot do. It also allows production to finish the parts inside the mold in many different ways giving the designer and the engineers greater creative control over their product.
Prototype injection molding can produce critical parts for functional testing. And it can also bridge the gap before going on full production, which is essential in the manufacturing process.