Insert injection molding involves molding plastic, non-plastic parts, or inserts around other elements. It also combines multiple combinations that are different from metal and plastics. These products are used in a wide range of industries such as electronics, the medical industry, the consumer market, and the defense industry. It is a preferred method of production that reduces assembly and labor costs, improving product reliability. The molded part has a reduced size and weight, thus enhancing component design and flexibility. At Rapid Axis, our molding process ensures that we first identify resins that meet our design performance and compatibility for maximum adhesion. The finished product is a higher quality, more affordable and durable prototype that surpasses other products currently available on the market. Read on to learn more about our insert molding options, as well as how insert molding and overmolding different.
The Insert Molding Process and the Parts of a Mold
Unlike overmolding, with insert molding, the secondary part is formed over a substrate. The pre-existing component is the base or inner element produced from another facility or company. It is inserted into a mold, and a secondary layer forms around it. The components of a plastic mold include the following:
- Parts for guide positioning
- Ejector space components
- Sprue bushings, locating rings, and runner components
- Coil springs, screws
- Heat insulator sheets
Materials Used in Insert Molding
Using a substrate that is not compatible with an overmolding material results in deformed products, resulting in resource wastage. Confronting compatibility issues between substrates and overmolded materials helps create unique features of product design. Thermoplastic materials, thermosets, and elastomers used in overmolding can also form the layer in insert molding. The most common materials include:
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- PMMA (Acrylic)
- POM (Polyoxymethylene)
- PP (Polypropylene)
- SI (Silicone)
- TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers)
- TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)
- TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber)
- Polyetheretherketone (PEEK)
- Polyetherimide (PEI)
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
Molding Options: Prototyping or On-Demand Manufacturing
Choosing the best molding service option is dependent on the nature of your project. It would be best to consider the mold price, part price, guaranteed mold life, and additional features necessary for your project. But if you do choose to go with on-demand manufacturing, the benefits include:
- Managed demand volatility
- Reduced total cost of ownership
- Cost-efficient bridge tooling
On the other hand, rapid prototyping offers reduced design risks and the ability to test multiple designs simultaneously. We recommend that you call and talk with our specialists for an in-depth understanding of the best method to use.
Which Plastic Molding Process Is Right for Your Applications – Overmolding or Insert Molding?
Choosing the most adaptive and cost-effective plastic manufacturing method will require weighing a variety of factors. While overmolding and insert molding can be used together and accomplish very similar functions, there are some reasons that make insert molding the perfect method for molding plastics, including:
- Insert molding is more convenient when using prefabricated substrates
- It is best for when you want the finished part to be a solid piece
- Ideal method for when the substrate is a metal, wire, or electronic component
On the other hand, overmolding can be the superior option when:
- The completed part will not be disassembled.
- The finished product will be made of rubber or thermoplastics.
- The finished product will consist of multiple layers and colors.
Each polymer used in the plastic molding process has unique properties that ensure professional fabrication into a finished part. This makes insert molding an efficient manufacturing method for fasteners, connectors, adhesives, and soldering.
How Insert Molding Saves You Money
Reduced Labor Cost
Single or multiple inserts can be molded in one shot, saving on assembly and labor costs. A worker will only need to insert the part during the molding stage.
Enhanced Design Flexibility
Detailed molding using plastic resin improves sleek product design. This produces parts that do not loosen or misalign. The nature of the finished product allows for better service reflected by customer retention.
Saves on Injection Molding Cost
Time spent by designers inserting parts that are not standardized means long working hours with a reduced turnaround. Vertical injection machines have improved efficiency, which saves on time and the overall molding cost. At Rapid Axis, we offer low labor costs with high-quality services using advanced molding techniques that avoid defects. Our professional services are fierce in this competitive industry, making us the best for producing prototypes and molding parts. Contact us today to get a free quote!