The Value of a Prototype Mold
Constructing a prototype mold for testing purposes can save you money by perfecting your part design prior to building a production injection mold. A prototype mold is the only type of mold that can be constructed of aluminum because is not intended for supporting any long term production requirements. A prototype mold is a good way for an engineer to see exactly how their new part will function in a real-life scenario, without the expenditure for a standard steel production mold. A prototype mold can cost considerably less than a Standard Mold, in some cases thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, while providing the benefit of developing your product to perform exactly as intended.
Some other economical options for injection mold construction would be a MUD Unit, or what one if the project is certain but tiny details are still in question, you may want to build a standard mold with a prototype cavity, develop only one of a multi-cavity tool to perfect the part before constructing the remaining cavities.
Versatility of MUD Units
A MUD (Master Unit Die) Unit refers to a universal steel frame that fits into a press, allowing for an insert mold to slide in or out for quick changeovers. A MUD unit frame is extremely valuable for production runs that require just in time delivery, when the volume requirements do not dictate a standard mold expenditure. The ability to quickly switch out insert molds reduces machine down time and labor costs. Some molders prefer to use MUD units on jobs that run in the same material, allowing for smooth set up and production runs. This is an economical option that many molders can offer to their customers.
Standard Injection Molds
A typical standard injection mold is used in a horizontal clamping press, with two halves, an A & B side, that move together to form the desired production part(s) inside the closed mold. A standard mold will have either one or multiple cavities, the carved out area with specific precision geometrical shapes prepared to mold the desired part. In some cases, an engineer may be certain of needing an 8-cavity standard mold for high volume part production, but may want to perfect the design prior to constructing all cavities.
Michiana Global Mold has vast experience constructing prototype tools, insert tools for MUD units, and prototype cavities in multi-cavity tools. Michiana Global Mold has been a superior supplier of high quality plastic injection molds for various industries including automotive, consumer electronics, medical and defense, for over 50 years. We are an ISO9001:2015 Registered mold builder, maintaining high customer satisfaction through continual product and process improvement.