What is Injection Mold Design

In the fast paced world of plastic molding, injection mold design is one of the most interesting and challenging jobs to be found. You will draw upon all of your creative abilities as you develop the design for new products.

It might look easy because of the powerful CAD programs, but in reality, they are just tools to help you. In the field of injection mold design you often must develop new and original methods of plastic molding. This sometimes requires a lot of creativity and inventiveness. What is a typical day like for injection mold design? Most injection mold designers follow a schedule similar to the mold makers. Because their mold designs are soon going to be manufactured by the mold makers, there is a very close relationship between these two.

A mold designer spends most of his time at his computer, using powerful CAD programs such as Unigraphics, AutoCAd, SolidWorks, MasterCam and many, many others. Nowadays, the programs are incredibly fast and powerful.

Very often the mold designer will be required to communicate with the various mold makers, CNC programmers, WEDM operators, etc.. This rapport is critical for a successful career as an injection mold designer.

Usually the designer does not work quite as many hours per week as the mold maker. Often mold designers have a shop background and help out in the mold making shop as well. This is especially common if there is a slowdown in design and a lot of work in the shop. How do you become an injection mold designer? Essentially, there are two paths in the USA. One is to learn on the job and the other is to learn at a design school. Both are common and work well.

Many plastic molding designers come from a mold making background. This is especially helpful to provide a realistic approach to mold design. There is no substitute for practical experience!

Several tech schools and universities offer excellent courses on plastic injection mold design. A background in mechanics, spatial relationships, ability to visualize 3D parts, and mathematics are all essential.

Is there a future in injection mold design?

Like everything else associated with the plastics industry, the answer is yes and no. Yes, because the plastics field is growing all the time and skilled designers are in high demand and low supply.

No, because the field is so competitive on a global scale. In this electronic age the designer does not even need to be in the same country as the mold maker. I had this experience at one shop; the designer was in Canada and we were in the USA. It worked well, but required considerable phone time on the part of the project manager. Conclusion Working in injection mold design is challenging, interesting, secure, well paying and in demand. Anyone interested will find many good courses available and companies seeking qualified designers.

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Edited by Leafly Mould Provides Injection Mold, Plastic Mold, Injection Molding, Die Casting Mold, Stamping Mold

How Plastic is Molded

Plastic has, quite literally, become the cornerstone of our society. We make so many things from plastic that it is hard to imagine what our lives would be like if it was never invented. With so many of our everyday products being made of plastic, it is easy to understand why plastic injection molding is such a huge industry.

Approximately 30% of all plastic products are produced using an injection molding process. Of this 30%, a large amount of these products are produced by using custom injection molding technology. Six steps are involved in the injection molding process, after the prototype has been made and approved.

The first step to the injection molding process is the clamping of the injection mold. This clamping unit is one of three standard parts of the injection machine. They are the mold, the clamping unit and the injection unit. The clamp is what actually holds the mold while the melted plastic is being injected, the mold is held under pressure while the injected plastic is cooling.

Next is the actual injection of the melted plastic. The plastic usually begins this process as pellets that are put into a large hopper. The pellets are then fed to a cylinder; here they are heated until they become molten plastic that is easily forced into the mold. The plastic stays in the mold, where it is being clamped under pressure until it cools.

The next couple of steps consist of the dwelling phase, which is basically making sure that all of the cavities of the mold are filled with the melted plastic. After the dwelling phase, the cooling process begins and continues until the plastic becomes solid inside the form. Finally, the mold is opened and the newly formed plastic part is ejected from its mold. The part is cleaned of any extra plastic from the mold.

As with any process, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with plastic injection molding. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages for most companies; they include being able to keep up high levels of production, being able to replicate a high tolerance level in the products being produced, and lower costs for labor as the bulk of the work is done by machine. Plastic injection molding also has the added benefit of lower scrap costs because the mold is so precisely made.

However, the disadvantages can be a deal breaker for smaller companies that would like to utilize plastic injection molding as a way to produce parts. These disadvantages are, that they equipment needed is expensive, therefore, increasing operating costs.

Thankfully, for these smaller companies, there are businesses that specialize in custom plastic injection molding. They will make a mock up mold to the exact specifications, run it through the complete process and present the completed piece along with an estimate to complete the job to the customer.

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Edited by Leafly Mould Provides Injection Mold, Plastic Mold, Injection Molding, Die Casting Mold, Stamping Mold