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7 advantages of rapid injection molding

by:Vowin Rapid Prototyping     2023-02-09
Manufacturers have long associated injection molding with mass production, durable dies for steel machining, and substantial capital investment. They ignore the fact that plastic injection molding is an ideal method for producing a wide variety of complex plastic parts and can benefit OEMs in many different industries. However, with the development of prototype technology, rapid injection molding has naturally become one of the most important prototype technologies. What is Rapid Injection Molding? Technically, the rapid injection molding process is the same as conventional injection molding. The main difference is how the mold is made. First, RIM's molds use different materials. In conventional processes, the goal is to make the mold as durable as possible, so the mold is made of hardened steel. Rapid injection molding can use softer materials. A wide choice is aircraft-grade aluminum alloys. They have a strength similar to steel, but are much easier to machine and polish. This reduces machining time by 30% and polishing time by a factor of 2-5. Second, rapid injection molds can be more easily redesigned. Mass-produced injection molds are robust because fewer joints mean greater precision and longer life. The prototyping process may sacrifice a little precision for better flexibility, which is why the cavity is manufactured as a separate part from the bottom of the mold. That way, if you need to make adjustments, you only need to remove the cavity and leave the rest intact. Third, rapid injection molding uses less automation than traditional rapid injection molding, which means less time is needed to design, manufacture and fine-tune molds. The conventional rapid injection molding process uses a large number of automotive ejectors, loads and other auxiliary mechanisms to further improve its performance. However, prototyping is not about the cutting time of each part, but about the cutting preparation time. So, if we replace the car mechanics with manually installed ones, we can save a lot of time when manufacturing injection systems. All the above points will greatly reduce the prototype production time. For the customer, this means that he can get parts by rapid injection molding in 2-5 weeks instead of 2-5 months in traditional injection molding. Advantages Rapid Injection Molding Offers for Prototyping Of course, even with the modifications that allow RIM to be used for prototyping, making molds is still a long and complicated process. For example, it takes 2-5 days to 3D print a part, not weeks. So why bother with rapid injection molding? The Rapid Injection Molding process has many benefits that other prototyping technologies cannot provide 1. Strength Through design for manufacturability (which ensures optimal injection angle and uniform wall thickness), liquid resin can be injected into the mold cavity under high pressure. It ensures that the parts are free of porosity and that the quality of the final material is the best. That can't be said for 3D printing, which uses powder or thin wires and sinters them together. As a result, the final material may have pores or unsintered areas. 2. Surface treatment The surface finish of molded parts depends on the quality of the mold. The cavity is usually made by CNC milling followed by some finishing. The most common of these is polishing. Additionally, EDM cutting is used to sharpen the interior corners of the cavity. The resulting surface finish can be as small as Ra 0.8 μm. 3. High precision Compared with other prototyping techniques, injection molding has higher precision. For example, 3D printing will produce IT9 at most, while rapid injection molding is only limited by the accuracy of the mold, which may be as high as IT7. 4. Almost zero material waste Many prototype technologies do not consider materials at all. This is okay when you are making unit count batches. However, some products require extensive testing under field conditions. For example, medical prototyping, their final testing phase includes distributing the product to consumers for daily life testing. This means you will need hundreds or even thousands of samples, and losing 50% or more of blank material will cost you a fortune. RIM now injects only the required amount of plastic into the cavity, minimizing waste. 5. Molds can be used in high volumes Most prototyping processes are good at creating small numbers of parts. For example, a silicone cast can use up to 15 or so parts. After that, the cast will be badly damaged and you will need to make other casts. Rapid injection molds are not as durable as traditional molds, but they can still withstand more builds than most prototyping processes. The best of them can create up to 100,000 parts before wearing out. 6. Versatility You need to replace the cartridge with a blank material and do a lot of setup to print the same part from another plastic. At worst, you'll need completely different equipment. This is not necessary when we are talking about injection molding. The molds are made of high-grade aluminum which outperforms any plastic. This is why you can basically use any material on the mold you make. 7. Efficiency If you compare prototype technology with mass production, prototype technology is not very efficient. In mass production, a single part takes much longer to machine than the same part simply because the blank is closer to the final part and the machine has fewer parts. Furthermore, the machining process for mass production is optimized to minimize blank setup and trajectories. High processing times are okay when you're manufacturing a small number of parts, but the larger the batch size, the more important it is to minimize the time it takes to produce a single part. RIM technology has the shortest processing time of all other prototyping technologies, so the larger the batch size, the more viable the technology becomes. As an ISO 9001:2005 quality system certified supplier, we believe we can meet your requirements, please feel free to submit your CAD files here or call us: 0755 2373 1920
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