What is Prototype Injection Molding?
Prototype injection molding produces real injection molded parts for functional testing. Injection molding prototyping can also serve as bridge tooling to fill the manufacturing gap before production tooling or when production tooling goes down.
Prototype plastic injection molding can be done very quickly. The initial part will have the shape and functionality a plastic prototype part would need for testing form, fit, and function, but may not have fine details like color or surface finish preference. Prototype molds are built to handle minimum of 10,000 cycles.
The ICOMold Prototype Mold Difference
The current manufacturing trend is to use 3D printing to produce prototype parts. While 3D printing is a quick and efficient way to produce prototypes, it does have some serious drawbacks. Material choice is the biggest limitation when using 3D printing for prototypes. 3D printing can only use very specific materials that may not hold up to the demands of testing. Prototype injection molding will produce usable parts in the same material as the final part. This will allow designers to test the form, fit, and function of the part without worrying about differences in the material characteristics.
Prototype Mold Highlights
- Fast Mold and Part Quote
- Low Cost, Quick Build and Good Quality
- Online Project Management
- Trouble-Free Part Modifications
- No Size Limitations
- Any Commercially Available Material and Surface Finish
Why Injection Molding Prototyping?
Prototype production is a necessary part of the injection molding industry because the costs associated with producing a prototype are significantly less than going straight to large scale production. Injection molding prototyping is a tried and true method for ensuring the mold is accurately designed prior to reproducing hundreds, thousands, or even millions of parts. Nothing can compare to the feeling of confidence that comes with holding a nearly finished version of your product before entering the production phase. This will ensure what you have designed and engineered will be exactly what you receive.
What is a Prototype Mold?
A prototype mold is essentially the same as a production mold. It can produce the same parts as a production mold but is only warrantied for 10,000 cycles. Production molds will typically last for 100,000 cycles or more. The only real difference between prototype molds and production molds is the mold material. Prototype molds are made of softer steel that is easier to cut but does not last as long. ICOMold’s production molds are all made with high-strength steel and built to last.
Prototype Plastic Injection Molding Saves Time and Money
ICOMold can quickly build prototype molds with S50C or P20 soft tool steel.
Design modifications with ICOMold are incredibly easy. ICOMold can typically rework a steel mold within a few days.
All projects are assigned a dedicated project manager and engineer to ensure your prototype injection molding project is done on time and in budget. For more information, please check out ICOMold’s Online Project Management System.
Process for Prototype Injection Molding
ICOMold’s Instant Online Quoting enables us to simplify and shorten the quoting process.
- Load your 3D CAD file (stp or step format) to get instant 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
Prototype Injection Molding Highlights
Fast Part Quote and Molding
Low Cost, Quick Build, and Good Quality
Online Project Management
Trouble-Free Part Modifications
No Size Limitations
Any Commercially Available Material and most standard Surface Finishes