Family Injection Molds
“Family” plastic injection molds or multi-cavity injection molding produces a set of parts similar in size that are molded at the same time, in the same quantities, from the same material and color. Family plastic injection molds can produce plastic injection molded parts in sets at the same time. The parts molded from a family mold are often used together, such as the two halves of a product.
Benefits of Family Injection Molds
Lower Tooling and Production Cost
Instead of creating multiple single cavity injection molds (and paying the tooling cost for each one), a single family mold can be created with multi-cavities for more than one part. By only having to create one mold, tooling costs are dramatically lowered. Production costs are also reduced as the number of molds needed to be switched out during a production run are reduced.
Family injection molds can make it easier to place orders. For example, if a product requires a left side and a right and those parts are in one multi-cavity mold, then when placing an order you only have to order from that mold instead of multiple molds. This makes sure you always get the correct amount of parts to finish a product.
ICOMold’s Lifetime Warranty on Family Production Molds
We offer a lifetime warranty on production plastic injection molds (prototype molds have a 10,000 piece warranty). When you have us make your family injection mold and run your parts production through our manufacturing plant, we cover your mold with a lifetime warranty. That means we maintain and refurbish your family injection mold as needed, at no cost to you, for the life of the mold. Warranty subject to the ICOMold terms and conditions.
Get instant access to ICOMold’s library of plastic injection molding articles by signing up for our newsletter
Required Criteria for Family Injection Molds
Parts must be of the same material and Color
Since a single multi-cavity mold is used, it is impossible to switch material or color during the plastic injection molding process. If one of the parts needs to be a different color, material, or quantity then these parts can’t be put together in a family mold.
Parts must be the same quantity
This criteria isn’t so much a requirement as something to be mindful of when creating family molds. For example, if you have a family mold that produces 1 piece of part A and 2 pieces of part B and the final product only requires 1 piece of each, you will eventually have an excess of B parts. Every time a multi-cavity mold is filled during the plastic injection molding process, all of the parts in the mold are produced.
Parts in a family mold don’t have to stick to a 1 to 1 ratio. For example, a multi-cavity mold can contain 2 pieces of part A and 3 pieces of part B, and as long as the final product uses these parts in a 2 to 3 ratio, no unused excess parts will be created.
For family injection molds, this is an important rule. Since all parts in a multi-cavity mold are filled at the same time, at the same rate, having parts that vary in volume/size will cause issues. The first issue that can happen is the large part cavity can be short shot or underfilled. Most of the time this will leave the part completely unusable and must be discarded. The second issue that can occur is the smaller part cavity will have flash (excess material that seeps out of the mold during plastic injection). Usually this will require someone to manually cut off the excess or to discard the part all together. Continually creating flash with a mold can shorten its production life as flash can deform the mold until it is no longer useable.
Process for Family Injection Mold
ICOMold’s online quoting system enables us to simplify and shorten both the quoting and tooling manufacturing process for plastic injection molding.
- Load your 3D CAD file to get your fast mold and part quote
- Upon order confirmation, ICOMold starts the mold and part order process
- Tooling design review by ICOMold engineers
- Upon design approval, ICOMold begins building your injection mold
- Customer examines samples for approval
- Part production begins
Family Injection Mold Highlights
> Fast mold quote
> Low cost, quick build and good quality
> Mold frame sharing technology
> ICOMold’s Lifetime Warranty on Production Molds (family production molds only)
> Online project management
> Built to your specifications
> No size limitations with the exception that all family molded parts should be roughly the same size/volume within reason
> Any commercially available material and surface finish