We continue with our series of articles about custom plastic injection molding process. In the last entry, we learned what plastic injection is, when it was created and how does it work in present day with the current technology at our disposal. Today we will talk about another key component in the process such as molds and we’ll offer some information on how molding is achieved. Take a seat and get comfortable, this is just what you need.
The Origin of the Mold and the Use of Modern Molds
Mold making is a craft that it’s nearly 6000 years old, it dates back to prehistoric times when men were trying to control metal for the first time and shape them into tools. The process has been passed down from our ancestors and perfected with the help of technology over the years. For current industrial purposes, a mold is a hollow metal encasing that can take in molten materials to be shaped into different forms or designs. When it comes to plastic injection molding process the mold is the receiving end of melted plastic and it usually comes with a lot of drilled holes to control the temperature of the mold itself by using hot water, oil or heathers.
When it comes to modern molds being used to shape and create custom plastic artifacts the injection molding machine handles the flow of molten plastic into the mold by letting it run through a sprue that fills all the cavities of the mold by using runners and gates. After the process had a chance to be completed, set in, and cooled down the mold is opened and an ejector rod is used from the injection machine to push out the finished product and start over the process again. This is one of the most well-known molding processes because it happens to be a standardized industrial one, but there are other techniques that are craftier and require certain levels of expertise.
Explaining Molding: What is it and How it Works
The process behind molding includes a lot of creativity on the side of a designer. Since the mold is what it shapes the final product that is being created it has to fulfill certain criteria. A mold crafter or sculptor that is also a designer is primed to get the best results. The top achievements in molding where achieved in 1960 when the Engel process was created to handle plastic manufacturing using low-density materials that were much more durable than the ones used up to that moment.
If the designs process has to go through a creative team the hours could be endless to achieve a final form that is built to last. The modern process begins when the designer comes up with an idea and brings shape to it, either by using specialized software, 3D printing or classic sculpting. After this designs get approval a metal or resin mold is crafted to be used and create a number of duplicates of the finished product. The process can be handled by injection or manually.
Join us in the next article to get a look at the number of techniques that can be used in plastic injection molding.