Prototype injection molds provide a chance to perfect the design of a molded product, prior to constructing a full size multi-cavity tool. This can be well worth the extra time and expense to make a smooth launch of mass production requirements.
A prototype mold is a very inexpensive method of testing out a new part design for proper functioning. Prototypes are usually constructed with less expensive material such as non-hardened steel or P20, or even aluminum, as the purpose is to mold sample lots of parts, not full production volume. A prototype mold usually has just one cavity, and this can be an easy to way to make sure a part will work as expected, before manufacturing a large multi-cavity tool. One part is all that is needed to verify the part’s dimensions and geometric tolerances.
A prototype mold is used in industries where new model parts are always changing such as the Automotive industry. In some cases, new parts are used in existing assemblies, changing a design slightly but still using some existing components. In this case the new parts would have to be tested within the existing assemblies to ensure proper function. Prototypes give automotive design engineers a chance to try out a new part, and alter it if need be, to work properly with other new or existing components.
Prototype Mold Advantages
In addition to the flexibility to try out new part designs to verify part function, the biggest advantage of prototype tools is the low cost. Made with the less sturdy and less expensive material, a prototype tool cannot support production, it can however provide enough shots to produce sample parts for testing purposes.
This is a very worthwhile investment, however, especially if you are uncertain about how the geometric design on one part will fit with your existing application, or if you just want to test part properties prior to building a production mold. With the low cost of prototype tools, it could be a very advantageous place to start here if you have any questions about a new part function.
A prototype is also advantageous if the part is molded with a new resin, or a resin that the engineer is not familiar or experienced with. Since all thermoplastic resins contain varying properties for shrink rate, strength and durability, some prototypes are constructed to test the strength of a molded part in different materials allowing engineers to test out different resins.
Michiana Global Mold has vast experience constructing prototype tools to customer specifications, giving you a quick turn-around time on sample parts for your testing purposes. We employ skilled design engineers and journeyman mold makers all with in-depth knowledge of prototype mold construction, and properties of varying resins.
Michiana Global Mold has vast experience assisting engineers and designers to achieve their dimensional goals with design assistance and Prototype Mold Construction. Contact us today for a free design consultation and to see how we can assist you with your project development goals.