Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding injection molding, part of Rapid Prototyping for Product Design.
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Injection molding is the process of taking granular plastic pellets and heating them up and then, under high pressure, injecting the hot plastic into a mold. The whole process takes a large press machine, an injection molding dye and a crane or fork lift to load and move dye's around and load them into the machine. Most injection molding dye are made out of steel and are designed to run. Millions of parts. Prototype tools are designed to run thousands of parts and can be made from aluminum. The steps to get started is first we needed a machine and mold, then we need to finish the mold and prepare it for molding. Next we need to load that mold in to the machine, get it all set up, and hook up all the hoses and other connections. Then we need to run the parts. Following running the parts, we have to remove that mold out of the machine and get it ready for the next process, injection molding is ideally suited for smooth or rounded parts with some draft so the parts can be removed from the mold after they're finished. Common examples of parts would be something like a standard keyboard you might be using or maybe the mouse that's in your hand. Prototype tools can start at about $2500 and go up from there. However, the high up front cost pays back quickly with the low cost of generating these parts.
- 3D printing parts, using fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, and selective laser sintering (FDM, SLA, and SLS)
- Working with CNC mills and lathes
- Building a silicon mold and resin casting a part
- Injection molding a plastic part
- Creating quick 2D models
- Using laser and touch-probe scanners