When clients come to us with a new project, they bring a list of questions and concerns. Almost always at the top of the list are, What will affect the cost of this plastic injection molding project?, and how can I make the most efficient use of my budget?
We can answer the second question with a detailed answer to the first. By knowing the factors that influence plastic injection molding costs, you can design your product with these specs in mind. You will also have a foundation for discussing manufacturing options with your plastic injection molding company.
- Part design – If a part is very intricate, its mold will also be intricate, leading to higher tool costs. You can help your budget by trying to simplify your design. A small, complex mold can sometimes cost more than a large, simple mold.
- Part size – Larger parts mean larger molds and more material being used. Machining time can also be affected: small, thin parts process faster than large, thick parts.
- Resin choice – The resin you choose will affect plastic injection molding cost through a variety of factors: value, quantity, availability of the particular resin, grade, additives, color, compounding, does it require a high mold temperature, etc. If the resin you choose contains abrasive materials (such as mineral, glass or carbon fiber) it could affect the maintenance cost of the mold.
- Volume and cavities – For volume, think hours of production rather than number of parts. High-volume projects depend on higher quality tools for reliable service, making the tools more costly. How many cavities a tool has also influences manufacturing costs: a higher number of cavities means a longer “press time.” And the faster you can produce parts, the lower their cost will be.
- Cycle time – A tool needs uniform cooling through the cavity impression(s) in order to achieve fast machine cycle. This means the tool will require a higher precision build, increasing both tool construction and maintenance costs.
- Part tolerance – Parts with tight tolerances need additional steps during mold manufacturing, increasing tool costs. However, in our experience, the value gained from tight tolerances are always worth the cost. That is why we specialize in tight tolerances.
- Offshore or onshore manufacturing – While overseas companies may offer a lower upfront plastic injection molding cost, they often end up being more costly in the long run. Choosing a US-based manufacturer, such as Proto-Cast, will ensure you receive a high-quality product at a great price.
- Tool material – The largest upfront plastic injection molding costs is usually the mold itself. While molds have many variables (including size and complexity), the material you choose will also impact cost. Standard mold materials are steel and aluminum, and each has qualities that benefit certain molds over others. Steel lasts longer than aluminum and therefore can produce more parts. However, aluminum is more readily available and has better thermal heat transfer. Discuss your mold expectations with your manufacturer and they can help you choose the right material.
Proto-Cast, LLC. – Affordable Plastic Injection Molding
With over 50 years of experience, Proto-Cast is your one-stop shop for high-quality parts. We know all the variables that affect plastic injection molding cost, and we will help you produce an excellent part while sticking to your budget. Call us at 610-326-1723 or email email@example.com for more information about our services.