Parts shipped in 1 to 15 days
What is injection moulding?
Injection moulding is the most common form of manufacture, suitable for prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production of end-use parts. The process relies on a mechanism that injects thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers into a mould cavity, which then solidifies into the finished part before being ejected from the mould.
What are the advantages of injection moulding?
At Protolabs we offer rapid injection moulding with quick turnaround times to help reduce design risks and limit overall production costs. Our automated processes begin with data being sent directly to the mills, enabling us to produce rapid prototypes and end-use production parts in as little as 1 day. Moreover, our high-grade aluminium mould tools come with a lifetime guarantee and we stock hundreds of thermoplastic resins and liquid silicon rubber materials.
25 parts to 10,000+ parts
Shipped in 1 to 15 days
Plastic injection moulding is a manufacturing process where thermoplastic resin pellets are fed into a heated barrel, from which the now molten material is shot into the mould cavity. Once the desired cooling has been achieved the solidified production-grade part is ejected with an array of pins as the A-side and B-side of the mould separate. The two sides then close again for the process to be repeated.
Liquid silicone rubber moulding is a thermoset process that mixes a two-component compound together, which is then heat cured in the mould with a platinum catalyst to produce a final LSR part. In contrast to themoplastics, LSR is a thermosetting polymer, which means its moulded state is permanent. Once set, it can’t be melted again, but LSR has excellent thermal, electrical and chemical resistance properties.
Overmoulding and insert moulding are injection moulding processes that create a single multi-material component. Overmoulding is when the substrate parts are moulded over with a second material. Insert moulding is where the preformed part has been specially produced to fit inside another injection moulded component. The advantages of either process are determined by the parts and their applications.
Aluminium as a Mould Tool
We use aluminium in our mould tooling for a number of reasons, not least because the material allows for faster machine times. This in turn leads to a cost-effective approach to both prototyping and end-use production parts. Aluminium also allows for multi-cavity options, family tooling, complexities such as sliders and mould inserts; and it lends itself well to modifications, whether it be metal on or off. We use a 7 series grade of aluminium, typically used in the aerospace industry, that is both durable and lightweight – and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Sample Quote for Moulding
To get a good idea of how ProtoQuote works, check out a sample quote for moulding.
Inside Rapid Injection Moulding
Take a trip through our production floor to see rapid injection moulding at work.