Advanced Technology Leads to Improved Plastic Injection Molding Equipment
ICOMold is a leader in advanced technology when it comes to plastic injection molding. Plastic is a versatile material that can be used in almost every situation and it is a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. Plastic is everywhere from the toothbrush we use in the morning, to the plastic utensils at lunch, to the case that holds our cell phones, to essential parts in our automobiles and medical equipment. ICOMold is an injection mold company that embraces technology to make better plastic parts for a wide variety of applications.
As a digital manufacturer ICOMold is on the cutting edge of plastic injection molding. Utilizing the latest machinery and advanced computers, we are able to manufacture almost any plastic part to fulfill almost any purpose. We employ a variety of molding techniques to create custom parts to the client’s specifications. Complex, intricate, and highly detailed parts are easy to make thanks to an array of sophisticated, computer-controlled machines. ICOMold specializes in injection molding but can also create parts and prototypes using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. We have the technology and machinery to easily CNC machine prototypes or small batch runs.
Knowledge Base Subjects
- Advanced Technology Injection Molding
- Injection Molding Basics
- Calculate Cooling System In Injection Molding
- Calculate Plastic Mold Shrinkage
- Clamp Tonnage Injection Molding
- Custom Injection Molding Thermoplastic
- Gas Assist Injection Molding
- Instant Quote
- What is Mold Manufacturing?
- What are Examples of Injection Molding Products?
- What is 3D Molding?
- What is a 3D Printed Injection Mold?
- What is ABS Injection Molding?
- What is an Injection Molding Press?
- What is Ceramic Injection Molding?
- Liquid Silicone Molding 101
- Micro Molding 101
- What is HDPE Molding?
- What is Mold Tooling?
- What is Polymer Molding?
- Precision Injection Molding Basics
- What is Prototype Plastic Molding?
- What is PVC Injection Molding?
A History of Plastic
The business of plastic has always been forward thinking and ICOMold is no exception. From the early days of plastic, the inventor and chemists were looking for an easier, less expensive way to create products that would stand up to the everyday rigors of use better than their traditional counter parts. The first well-known plastics used in mass production were cellulose, made from natural materials, and bakelite, a fully synthetic product. Injection molding was invented in 1872. Early injection molding companies produced small, simple items like buttons, combs, and collar sticks. The injection molding industry took off in the 1940s thanks to the demand for cheap, mass-produced items as part of the war effort during World War II. New machines made plastic injection molding more efficient and cost effective.
Blow molding debuted in the 1970s, allowing manufacturers to create hollow and much more intricate items. Hollow items reduced cost and waste, giving plastic yet another leg up on conventional materials.
The increase in computing power and advances in technology over the last 30 years have allowed manufacturers to greatly expand the options available to clients in need of plastic parts.
Integrated computer technology has ensured that plastic injection molding equipment can keep up with the high demands of consumers. Complicated sizes, shapes and designs can now be easily manufactured. Plastic items made with injection molding can be found in every industry. From defense items and medical kits, to all kinds of household appliances and electronics, plastic injection molded items are integral to our society and economy.
There are many different ways to create plastic items. The two most popular are injection molding, and blow molding. ICOMold is an injection molding company but also specializes in CNC milling and lathing, and urethane casting. This allows clients to create any part to fit their need, from a simple piece all the way up to intricate items.
A rigid mold is created with a cavity on the inside. Melted plastic is injected into the mold. The mold is then opened and the finished piece is ejected. The applications for plastic mold injection are nearly limitless. Simple carrying bags, bags for packaging, accessories for the computer, automobile parts, toys, and parts for consumer electronics can all be manufactured using advanced plastic molding technology from ICOMold. Plastic injection molding can be used to make simple items like a fork or complicated, life-saving medical items.
Blow molding is used to create hollow plastic items. Blow injection, stretch blow molding, and extrusion blow molding are the three types of techniques used to create plastic piece with a void on the inside.
Stretch blow molding is preferred for molding bottles and is extensively used in the bottling process of soft drinks, mineral water, chemicals, oil, and edibles. Extrusion blow molding equipment is utilized for manufacturing container goods for polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), or polycarbonate (PC), and uses both mechanical and pneumatic systems. Extrusion molding pushes plastic through a rigid mold and can be used to make long solid or hollow items like pipes or straws.
The overmolding process puts one type of material over a different type of material to create the final part. Overmolding allows clients to create complex items that may contact two different surfaces at the same time. Overmolding typically involves soft thermoplastic materials like urethanes and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) being over molded onto hard plastic such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or PC.
Insert molding is an injection molding process that allows metal or ceramic inserts, like brass nuts, bushings, screws, or metal filters to be combined into one part. The metal parts are placed in the mold and the plastic is injected around them to create the finished part.
Milling or lathing is the process of removing material from a block or a cylinder to create a finished product, in much the same way that a sculptor would remove material from a block of stone to create a statue. ICOMold’s multi-axis, high-speed CNC milling machines can produce complex prototypes and low-volume parts quickly and efficiently. CNC machining is an easy and cost-effective way to create prototype pieces without the time and expense of creating a mold. In most cases, the CNC milled part can be used for product testing. We can also use CNC machining to create small batch runs up to 500 parts. We can mill a variety of materials and parts can be delivered in days instead of weeks or months
ICOMold offers several ways to brand or print text or pictures onto a plastic item made by injection molding. Conventional screen-printing is used to print the desired text or image on any plastic item with a flat surface. ICOMold employs pad printing when the object may not be easily printed by conventional means. Pad printing allows the transfer of a 2D image onto a 3D object. A silicon pad is created that acts as a flexible stamp. This stamp can then be pressed onto the object, transferring the desired image. This type of printing is can be used in place of screen printing but is ideal for items that have compound angles, textures, rounded edges, or may be spherical in nature.
Secondary CNC Plastic Milling Services
ICOMold offers a wide range of secondary processes to ensure every customer receives the finished part to meet their need. After the plastic CNC milling service, the part can be prepared for post-milling processes.
The following is a list of the standard secondary processes available after CNC machining. We will be happy to discuss any custom process or secondary processes not listed below.
- Painting. Plastic or metal parts made with CNC machining can be painted to enhance appearance.
- Plastic parts may need non-plastic inserts.
- EMI Coating. This special coating provides EMI shielding, anti-static protection, and surface grounding to plastic parts made by CNC plastic and plastic injection molding.
- Silk Screening. A woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil is used to transfer a desired image to the finished piece.
- Laser Etching. Heat from a laser beam causes the surface of the material to melt, leaving an indentation in the shape of the desired design.
- Pad Printing. This printing method uses a soft, ink-dipped pad to transfer a 2D image to a 3D object.
- Custom Processes. ICOMold is happy to work with customers on post-molding or CNC milling service processes.