Injection molding is a popular manufacturing process used to make a wide range of items across a variety of industries. If an object is made of plastic there is a good chance it was manufactured using injection molding. Injection molding products can be found in commercial, consumer, and industrial settings. Injection molding products offers businesses the opportunity to custom design parts or items with details that are unique to their brand.
Industries that Benefit from Injection Molding
Examples of injection molded products from different industries include:
Medical Industry: Silicone, Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polypropylene, and polyethylene are all common materials used to make medical devices like syringes, orthopedics, and tubing.
Toys: The most common injection molding product example in toys are the famous bricks made by LEGO®. These plastic bricks are made of ABS — a lightweight material that is very moldable and has high impact resistance qualities.
Automotive: All types of injection molding products can be found on the inside and outside of cars and trucks. Examples of injection molding inside motor vehicles includes knobs and buttons on the dashboard, air vents, door handles, etc. Common molding materials chosen by automotive companies include nylon, polypropylene, PVC, and ABS.
Consumer Electronics: Everyday electronics are a great example of injection molding products. The outer shell of USB thumb drives and USB cables are injection molded. The housings on video game consoles are also injection molded. Video game controllers or power tools with a hard shell and softer grip are good examples of an injection molding process called over molding.
A few of the injection molding products we interact with every day include the following:
- Game controllers
- Toilet seats
- Cell phone cases
- Cutting boards
- Plastic kitchen utensils
- Protective padding
- Promotional products
- Mouth guards
- Electrical plugs
- Electrical switches
- Roof vents
- Deck fasteners
- Flower pots
- Wire ties
- Remote controls
- Shower curtain rings
- Drink dispensers
- Car bumpers
- Radio buttons
- Window controls
- Drink holders
- Sound and thermal insulation
- Concrete beam conduits
- Syringes and other drug delivery equipment
- Housings on medical devices
- Laboratory and facility equipment
- Bread and serving trays
- Food storage
- NSF Foodservice products
- Plastic straws
The Injection Molding Process Steps
The injection molding process starts with tooling a metal mold. ICOMold by Fathom makes all of its molds out of high-strength steel. The typical mold has two sides, Side A (the cavity) and Side B (the core). The mold is placed in a specialized injection molding machine that is capable of doing several processes at the same time. The injection molding machine must be able to hold the mold closed (clamping tonnage), melt the desired material, and then inject that material into the mold. Once the material has cooled, the mold is opened and the part is ejected. The mold is closed and the process starts over. Hundreds, thousands, or even millions of parts can be produced with injection molding, making it one of the most efficient and cost-effective manufacturing processes available to companies of all sizes.
Why Use Injection Molding for Your Project?
There are numerous reasons to choose injection molding. Not only is the process efficient and affordable, it is also incredibly flexible, allowing customers and designers to create pieces and parts that are both beautiful and functional. An excellent example of injection molding products is an electric toothbrush handle. The handle houses the mechanism used to power the toothbrush, acts as a base for the brush head, and as a grip for the user. Using a custom injection mold, a company can ensure these multiple features are built into the design. This simple decision will reduce the total piece count and lower the overall cost of the product.
An injection molding machine can produce a part every 15 to 60 seconds, depending on the material used, design of the part, and part size. Electric toothbrushes are mass-produced and require a high volume of production. High volume production results in lower unit costs over time as the cost of the mold can be spread out over hundreds or hundreds of thousands of parts. Injection molding also facilitates consistency of appearance. All electric toothbrushes produced in this manner will look identical as required by the project specifications.
Injection molding is a versatile manufacturing method that can be used to make everyday items for businesses, direct to consumers, the medical purposes, and many other industries. Injection molding has become very popular over the years because it allows for mass production with a detailed design. It is a cost-effective way to create prototypes and end-use goods.