how much does an injection mold cost

custom plastic injection molding

How Much Does an Injection Mold Cost?

Injection molding remains to be an important process in many industries due to the many parts that it helps in manufacturing. However, it’s essential to understand the cost behavior of injection molding so that the process feasibility can be determined. This discussion looks at the determinants of the cost of injection molding, especially the effect of the volume of production and ways of minimizing cost. This blog demonstrates the cost drivers that significantly play a role in the project, and helps readers to find out the common roaming question ‘’how much does an injection mold cost?’’. So keep reading.

It is impossible to establish a standard cost for injection molding since it covers a broad range of factors. Custom plastic injection molding is an important process for prototype development; however, it is relatively costly for small runs and may cost 1000s to hundreds of thousands of $s. These expenses are the result of a variety of factors.

Equipment is one of the most important cost drivers in manufacturing and is part of the manufacturing expenses. However, since molding equipment is considered a fixed cost, the machining of molds and mold bases is usually more expensive due to the mold design, type of material used, and the manufacturing process.

Another method that is used to create injection molding molds with intricate, and fine details is Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM). EDM uses high-energy electric discharges to heat the metal workpiece and then sinter it to the mold shape required. EDM is restricted to metal molds and might not be very effective for all types of molds even though it is very accurate.

Moreover, CNC machining is often used in the manufacturing of metal molds particularly from steel or aluminum and other related materials such as engineered-grade plastics. This method is most suitable for geometries and small tolerances since the mold is created by CNC cutting from a metal block.

Over the last few years, 3D printing has been considered a cheap and fast way of creating molds, especially for plastic injection molding. 3D printing also known as additive manufacturing is a process of creating molds through the deposition of layers from a digital model. This method is less sensitive to the skills of the operator than other traditional machining techniques, thus lowering the possibility of high labor expenses. However, there are a few limitations that need to be taken into account, for example, the size of the build platform and shrinkage of the printed molds.

To obtain the desired level of quality of the mold and the price, it is necessary to make a comparison, as each of the methods has its strengths and weaknesses.

Injection mold cost

Machines Used For Injection Mold Creation

Proceeding to the equipment used in injection molding is an essential aspect of the cost consideration. There is a wide range of classifications of injection molding machines depending on size, automation, and price. Let us examine the costs associated with these machine categories:

Electric Injection Moulding Machines:

An electro-servo motor is used in these devices and it is cheaper, more accurate, and consumes less energy. However, they require a lot of capital investment and maintenance as compared to other varieties of bananas.

Hybrid Injection Moulding Machines:

Hybrid machines are those machines that are both electric and hydraulic machines that use servo motors and hydraulic pumps. They cost a little more and require more maintenance in the initial phase, but they have high accuracy, stability, and energy conservation features.

Hydraulic Injection Moulding Machines:

Hydraulic pump is the main part of hydraulic equipment, which is characterized by high reliability, stability of the rate of ejection and injection, and relatively low initial investments. But they are typically more power consumptive and may not be as accurate as electrical gadgets.

Many organizations outsource injection molding services to service providers because the machinery used in injection molding is capital-intensive, and requires frequent maintenance. This method is a cost-cutting measure for organizations that want to cut down their costs since they do not have to purchase or maintain machines.

The costs of resins that are commonly used such as PC, ABS, PU, PP, and PE have a direct impact on cost and are normally within the range of $1-$5 per kilogram. However, the price of the material depends on the design and use of the product during the molding process.

Factors Contribute To Expense of Injection Mold Cost

Injection molded elements are subject to a variety of costs:

  1. Part Complexity: Components that require complex shapes must be made using molds that are printed using 3D printing, CNC, or EDM manufacturing. These complex design molds may be costly as they can use more material and can take more time to produce.
  2. Part Size: The cost of the injection molding material depends on the part size to be produced. Larger, and more complicated designs, in general, take more time to produce than simpler ones.
  3. Undercuts: Undercuts can be a problem in mold manufacturing and part injection. To minimize the cost it is recommended that undercuts should not be made or that portable cutoffs should be incorporated at the time of mold making.
  4. Appearances and Finishing: The cost of injection molding may be raised by the incorporation of factors that are not necessarily required in the product. The molds are also costly and complicated by the use of texture, bead blasting, or high mold polish, which should be used sparingly.

How much does an injection mold cost

Injection Molding Expenses also Include Labor and Extra Services:

Let’s briefly about how labor expense impacts the overall costs of the injection molding project.

Installation Costs: All the stages of the injection molding process are associated with machine settings, which are particularly critical during the technically challenging mold making.

Repair Costs: Like any other machinery, the injection molding equipment requires maintenance and replacement, which is a cost incurred in operating the business.

Costs of the Operator: For optimal project performance, operators contribute to the labor costs which are one of the expense groups.

Cost Depending Upon Production Volumes

The cost of injection molding depends on the number of units to be produced. Manufacturing volumes are classified into different classes and each class has its own cost.

Production of Low Volume Injection Moulding:

Components that can be produced in lots of one hundred to two thousand are feasible. Low-volume manufacturing molds are created with cheaper and faster RT or 3DP polymer resin. For instance, the cost of making 100 to 1,000 pieces could be $100 to $1,000 for the mold and $0. 5 for each portion of raw material.

It is thus important to know the details of injection molding cost, the types of equipment, and how the volume of production affects the cost in order to get the best results.

Productivity of Mid Volume Injection Molding:

Usually, mid-volume production runs from five thousand to ten thousand components. The strength and low cost of pre-hardened steel or aluminum molds make them popular among manufacturers. In such a situation, companies might choose to hire additional contractors to provide mold and molding services for this level of output.

 

Take, for example, a 5,000–10,000 part production run with the following rough cost breakdown:

 

$2,500–$5,000 is the mold cost.

Part Cost of Raw Materials: $0.5

Labor Cost per Part: An approximation is $2

Computed Total Cost per Part: £3

Injection at High Volumes Manufacturer of Molds:

Many items are made with high volume manufacture, which might include hundreds of thousands to millions of components. Although steel molds are strong, producing huge volumes of work requires sophisticated equipment, which raises the cost of production. Nevertheless, economies of scale cause the cost per part to be far lower in high-volume production and far higher in low-volume manufacture.

Think about, for instance, a 100,000–300,000 part production run with the following estimated cost breakdown:

Cost of Mould: $25000–$75,000

Cost of Raw Materials per Part: $0.5

$1 for labor for each part

Computed Total Cost per Part: Roughly speaking, $1.75

The economies of size in the injection molding costs per part are the source of the major cost benefits in mass production.

Injection molding cost

Tips to Cut Injection Molding Expenses:

As such, reducing the cost of injection molding is necessary to improve production efficiency and make the best use of the resources at hand. Some common techniques to cut down costs are discussed below;

  1. Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Analysis: Applying technological and scientific elements to lower the cost of injection molding, integrating DfM analysis during the design phase to produce components that are functional and reasonably priced within the allocated budget.
  2. Simplify Design Features: To save half the cost of injection molding, simplify designs and eliminate all superfluous components. Focus more on functional features than aesthetics.
  3. Take Into Account Universal Moulds: Standard molds are less expensive ways to produce high-quality parts. Hence, they are preferable when custom molds are not necessary. Mold design before manufacture is aided by and more affordable when done with CAD models.
  4. Select Economical Materials: Selecting the proper material, such as ABS or polypropylene, can save injection molding costs dramatically without sacrificing quality. Make sure the materials are of high caliber, although the solutions shouldn’t be too pricey.
  5. Investigate Insert Moulding: For long-term savings, it is advised to investigate insert molding and overmolding methods. For instance, insert molding saves money by eliminating the need for plastic threading for metal components.
  6. Reduce Mould Cavities: To save mold costs, reduce the amount of cavities in molds. Use moldflow analysis to determine where cavities can be removed without sacrificing the part’s appearance or performance.

The manufacturing line can be made more efficient overall if these tactics are successfully implemented and the expenses of injection molding procedures are significantly reduced.

Sincere Tech is a Quickly Expanding, Effective Tooling Solutions Provider.

Low to large volume production needs are the main emphasis of Sincere Tech. Specialties of Sincere Tech include injection molded components, machining services, and custom mold design.

Sincere Tech offers low pricing and free DFM checks by qualified engineers, together with just-in-time manufacturing services and enormous resources. To obtain the best injection molding solutions at a very affordable price, simply upload your CAD design file.

The manufacturing process of injection molding is extensively utilized in many sectors, so it is important to understand the expenses and their estimation. The cost factors of injection molding and methods to reduce manufacturing costs with the assistance of a knowledgeable tooling partner like Sincere Tech have been covered in this article.  If you want to learn more about ‘’how much does injection molding costs’’, contact us right now, and get expert advice as per your needs.

General Questions:

Q1. Is injection molding expensive?

The complexity and volume of production determine how much injection molding will cost. Where huge numbers of parts with precise dimensional accuracy are needed, it is quite economical despite its high cost.

Q2. In what range does a plastic injection mold cost?

Depending on the kind of material, degree of mold complexity, volume to be produced, and part design, injection mold prices range from $300 to $3000.

Q3: Is injection molding practical with materials other than plastic?

In fact, injection molding is a flexible process that finds application in a wide range of sectors since it can also be employed with metals and rubbers.