When discussing production processes like how injection molded plastics are made, there will obviously be short-cut processes that utilize the basics of the original but are able to do it faster and for smaller quantities. There are a number of reasons that a method like this, such as Rapid Injection Molds or rapid prototype injection molding, is necessary. When a company is developing a new product, they need to create prototypes to test before they run a full-line production. Sometimes a company needs a limited supply of products that are significantly fewer than the average number in normal mass production. With situations like these, the quickness and cheapness of rapid injection molding for limited production are more worthwhile for the injection molding company as well as the customer company getting prototypes or limited products produced.
In short, rapid mold or rapid injection molding is essentially the same process as normal injection molding, just done on a smaller scale with cheaper and less expensive molds. The quality of the mold matters because a mold used for mass production of a product needs to be in excellent condition because it will be injected with plastic then cracked open when the plastic is hard repeatedly and needs to keep its shape exactly that entire time. A mold like that takes a lot of time to get perfect and is therefore not appropriate for short runs like Rapid Injection Molds.
Although the process is quicker, cheaper and produces fewer products, it still deals with the same quality thermoplastics to create prototypes and short run productions. For example, nylon, ABS, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and polyethylene are all commonly used within the rapid injection molding process. Industries that utilize the cheapness and quickness for new products include the medical field, automotive, electronic, aerospace, and appliances, for a variety of specific products such as gears, toys, and enclosures.
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