Category Archives: prototype molds

Prototypes Provide Valuable Benefits

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.  

How a Prototype Mold Can Benefit Your Project

 

When engineers are designing new models of mass produced parts, you want to know if your new design will function as it should in the assembled product.  One way to verify your new part design is with a Prototype mold.

A Prototype mold can be constructed for less money than a full size standard mold to verify the functionality of the desired part.  Prototype molds are typically constructed with a less expensive material such as aluminum, non-hardened steel or P20, and usually contain just one cavity rather than multiple cavities, as only one part is needed to verify dimensions and part function.

This is advantageous in many industries such as the Automotive industry, where new model year automobiles combine new parts with current parts on the same vehicle.  In some designs, not all parts are updated or replaced yet all parts in any particular assembly must function perfectly together. A Prototype tool will give you the flexibility to test out and alter if need be, a newly designed part that will function to your specifications.  

Advantages of Prototype Molds

Since Prototype tools are constructed with less expensive, and less sturdy steel, it can only be used to produce short lots for testing purposes.  The material would not hold up for any large or standard production runs.  

This can still be a very worthwhile investment, however, especially if you are uncertain as to how the dimensions on one part will fit with your application, or if you just want to test it out prior to building the production mold.  Since the Prototype tools is quite economical, it could be advantageous to start here if you have any questions about a new project.

Michiana Global Mold has the resources, the experience and the experts on staff to build your Prototype tool to your specifications, allowing you to test your products prior to investing in standard mold bases.

Michiana Global Mold has vast experience helping engineers and designers achieve their geometrical and dimensional goals with design assistance and Prototype Mold Construction.  Contact Michiana Global Mold today to see how we can assist you with your project development goals.  

 

Cost Saving Options for Prototype Tools

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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.