Engineering and technology has moved way ahead in terms of reducing the time span for producing a prototype or model and at the same time, enhancing the quality of finish that is imparted to the prototype. Rapid Injection Molding is one way through which quick production time of prototypes from moulds can be achieved. The materials that possess the capability of melting and flowing easily when heated are best suited for injection molding.
Process: Rapid Injection Molding is a process in which the raw material in powdered form is fed to the mould with the help of a heated screw that melts the powder and feeds it to the mould cavity. Once the melted material reaches the mould cavity, it takes the shape of the cavity and is allowed to solidify. Usually, aluminum and plastic are used, which means that they solidify in lesser time, and then the molded product is removed. These are very much useful when it comes to low volume production of prototypes or models.
Types: As mentioned above the process of Rapid Injection Molding is based upon the solidification of the molten material, hence it is possible that multiple prototypes are formed in one go. If all the moulds are interconnected, the molten material will flow to all of the cavities and take their shape. This is known as multiple mould injection molding. Each cavity can be identical or different depending upon the requirement. And if a single cavity mould is used, it is known as single mould injection molding. Mostly, companies use the latter one, for they have demand of single piece prototype.
All advantages of Rapid Injection Molding are as follows-
· Quick production time of the prototype or model.
· Easy manufacture of prototypes involving complexity and size differences.
· Multiple parts can be manufactured with the same mould, one after the other.
· Most materials (glass, polymers, metals, alloys, etc.) and colours can be employed for injection molding.
· Surface finish is excellent, helping in determination of the fact if manufacturing will be profitable.
Applications: The high quality rapid moulds with fast turn-around are quiet famous as state-of-art tooling equipments for preparing low cost plastic prototypes or models of products prior to their actual manufacture. These are either used for full functional and fit testing or test marketing or both, as required. The molds are easily prepared with the help of computerized design, helping in the customization of the prototype as per the client’s needs.
Being an excellent short run production method for the pre-manufacture phase of any product, providing options for both prototyping and on-demand manufacturing, it has been embraced by the industries.