Injection molding is among the most effective manufacturing methods that deliver excellent-quality products. It’s a competent method, but you can improve the overall quality of the parts even more by keeping certain things in mind. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Pick the Suitable Surface for Design
The surface your design will affect the quality of your part. Make sure to pick a surface that is conducive to good injection molding. In addition, avoid intricate designs, keep your geometries simple, and avoid too many details. Complex structures can lead to problems in the manufacturing process and result in low-quality parts.
2. Choose the Suitable Material
Choosing the suitable material can be complicated, but you should keep a few things in mind. Don’t try to reduce costs by using a cheaper material as it may compromise quality and lead to defects in your final product. Make sure to choose a material with the properties you need for your design, such as flexibility or stiffness. For example, Nylon is generally more flexible than polypropylene, so it’s often used in products that require flexibility over rigidity.
3. Keep Uniformity in Mind
Injection-molded parts are often uniform in shape and size. Try to maintain this consistency throughout your design. If you need to vary the size or shape of the component, do it in gradual steps and avoid any sudden changes. Uniformity in injection mold will lead to highly-stable and durable products.
4. Add Drafting to Parts
Adding draft (or taper) to your part will help the ejection process and ensure that the component comes out cleanly. A draft of 1-2 degrees is generally sufficient. In addition, try to design your part simple as it makes the assembling easy. It will make the manufacturing process much easier and reduce errors.
The image is used for illustration purposes. Zeal 3D Printing is not the owner or creator of the image.(Image Source: Mastars on Unsplash)
5. Think About the Gate
The gate is where the molten plastic is injected into the mold. It’s crucial to design a good gate so that the injection process is smooth and there is minimum material wastage. Whether mass producing or rapid prototyping, ensure the gate point is accurate.
6. Add Radius Everything in The Part
Adding radius to your designs will reduce the impact of sharp edges on ejection. Avoid tight corners in injection-molded plastic parts when possible, as they can lead to parts being damaged. Also, avoid overhanging features to ensure that the final product comes out cleanly and without defects.
7. Reduce Strengthening Rib Sizes
If you use strengthening ribs in your design, try to reduce their size. It will save material and won’t impact the strength of the part. Also, undercuts in design can help with demolding, especially if one half of the mold is required to open before the other. If possible, incorporate at least one undercut on each side of your feature for this reason.
8. Use Rapid Prototyping to Detect Flaws
Rapid prototyping is one of the robust methods to detect flaws in your design. You can iterate the design if you need to until you get it right. It will help to ensure that the final product comes out without any defects. Before mass-producing a design, test it out with one or two rapid prototyped parts. By doing this, you can produce high-quality injection molded parts without higher material wastage.
9. Design Resin Flows from Thick to Thin
Design resin flows from thicker areas to thinner areas, as this will help demolding and reduce the risk of parts warping. Make use of draft angles in your designs to accomplish this if necessary. Also, the gates should be at the thicker part of the design, and the resin should flow towards the thinner sections. This simple tip makes the overall plastic injection molding easier.
10. Use Datums in The Design
Datums are points in your design that you use as references for keeping the geometry of your parts organized. All datum features should be at least 0.5mm larger than any other feature to allow tool wear. Also, they should all be located on a flat surface to ensure that the part comes out evenly after molding. Use datums throughout your design to prevent errors during the assembly process and make it easier on manufacturers.
Follow these easy and practical tips for producing high-quality products at affordable pricing. If you are planning to get started with robust product manufacturing, contact Zeal to get the best injection molding in Australia for your product manufacturing.