Injection Mold Cost Overview
The plastic injection molding process can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000 or more. Simple molds are typically in the $3,000 and $6,000 range while the price for large, more complex, high-production, or multi-cavity molds can cost $25,000 to $50,000 or more. Considering all the variables involved will help determine the overall injection mold cost. It is very important to weigh the cost of the mold against the number of parts being produced. Higher production numbers will lower the final per-piece cost of each part as the total injection mold cost can be spread out over hundreds or thousands of parts. While the upfront cost for injection molding can be significant, it is still the fastest, most economical way to produce large quantities of plastic parts.
How Is Injection Molding Cost Calculated?
The majority of the cost for plastic injection molding will be the machining of the injection mold. Injection molding costs are calculated based on several factors. The first and most important factor is the size, followed by the complexity of the mold. Large, complex molds will cost more than smaller, simple molds. The type of mold will also help determine price. Prototype injection molds will cost less than molds used for production runs. Molds built specifically for long production runs will be more expensive. Molds made for extended production will need to be made of high-strength steel that can stand up to repeated use.
The last factor to consider is the number of injection cavities machined into the mold. High-production molds can have multiple, identical injection cavities. These are typically referred to as muti-cavity Molds. Family molds are molds that have two or more similar cavities that aren’t necessarily identical. An example would be the right and left side of part that snaps together. These molds will have multiple cavities that will produce the same part or related parts in just one pressing, reducing the number of times the mold needs to be opened and closed while increasing production efficiency.
Does ICOMold Have an Injection Mold Cost Calculator?
Yes! ICOMold by Fathom offers an online quote system. The process of calculating mold costs can be rather complex. The final cost of the project will depend on several factors; the mold size, type, and complexity, the plastic material being used, and the production run numbers. Contact the experts at ICOMold to learn more about plastic injection molding costs or to get guidance for your next project.
INJECTION MOLD COST FACTORS
- Size of the injection mold
- Complexity of injection mold
- Mold Type – Prototype, Production, Long Production
- Single Cavity Type Mold vs. Family Type Mold
Injection Molding Calculator – Mold Material
Plastic injection molds are usually made of steel or aluminum. Aluminum has several benefits over steel. Aluminum is typically cheaper than steel and can better dissipate heat, which will lower cycle time and help increase efficiency. While Aluminum may have lower up front costs, it does have issues with durability. Injection molds made of steel are slightly more expensive, but will last longer, ultimately lowering the per-piece-price for each part. Steel injection molds should be used for production runs, as they will hold up to the heat and pressure better than molds made of aluminum. Steel molds can also be easily modified by welding or reworked for changes in design or for repairs. Aluminum molds wear down quickly and cannot be repaired or modified.
ICOMold by Fathom uses only high-quality, pre-hardened steel for injection mold tooling. Using steel may have a slightly higher upfront cost but the steel molds will last longer, resist danger better, and save the customer money in the long run.
Injection Molding Calculator – Plastic Material
Thermoplastic resins with different qualities can be used in the injection molding process. The type of plastic will also be a major factor when doing injection mold cost calculations. Choosing the right plastic resin will depend on what the part is designed to do. The cost of plastic resins will range from $2 to $20 per pound. The amount of plastic used in each injection will depend on the mold size and complexity. Some of the plastic characteristics that can affect cost are:
- High Impact
- High Gloss
- High Flow
- Fire Retardant
- High Heat
- Low Temperature
- UV Resistance
- Food Grade
Parts that do not need these special qualities can be made with cheaper plastic resin, which may result in significant savings.
Comparing Injection Molding Prices
A business owner or project manager will seek out several injection molding quotes from competing companies. It is important to know the details behind the price since each mold manufacturer may use a different approach. Customers should ask about the mold material and how it will be machined. Conventional machining can be slow and expensive. Molds made with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining or Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) can be produced much quicker and with a higher degree of detail.
ICOMold by Fathom offers an online quote system for custom plastic injection molding, CNC machining, or urethane casting projects. There is no software to download – just upload the CAD model to the online portal and select the desired options like part quantity, material, and finish.
How Do I Lower Our Injection Mold Costs?
There are several things you can do to help control and lower costs when it comes to injection molding. Some of the more common items are:
- Reduce unnecessary product features.
- If budget is a concern, then keep your product features to a minimum. Too many features and too much functionality can increase costs significantly.
- Eliminate cosmetic finishes and appearances.
- Although they make the product look nice, certain design features may not be worth the extra costs.
- Re-evaluate the part size.
- Part size and price go hand-in-hand. If the part is big, the price may be, too.
- Leverage overmolding.
- Paying extra for overmolding may be worth it in the end. Overmolding gives designers more options when it comes to material type and finish.
Injection Mold Costs Will Vary By Project
Simple, single cavity injection molds can cost as little as a couple thousand dollars. Larger, more complex, high-production, multi-cavity molds can cost upwards of $25,000 to $50,000 or more. The typical injection mold cost will be between $4,500 and $16,000.
Injection mold cost estimates will also depend on the proprietary technology used by each mold manufacturer. Ask questions to ensure the mold making process matches the output and budget for your project.
The list of questions below will make it easier to compare injection-molding quotes from different companies:
- What material do you use to make injection molds?
- What machining process do you use to make injection molds?
- What plastics are available for injection molding?
- What services or post-processing are included in the injection-molding quote?
- What types of injection molding do you offer? Simple? Complex, family molds? Overmolding? Insert Molding?
- Do you offer in-house injection molding or export mold machining only?
- Can you offer cost examples from a similar project?
- Are example parts available for inspection?
The experts at ICOMold by Fathom are here to answer all of your questions about injection mold cost. Feel free to use our online quote system as a mold cost calculator or reach out to one of our plastic injection molding experts.