As injection molding specialists, we’ve heard all the common objections and “cons” to contracting a vendor for parts molding services. “Too high an initial investment,” “too daunting of a process,” “the ends don’t justify the means,” and so forth.
We have spent years developing strategies and techniques to alleviate some of the common objections to injection molding. We strive to make the process cost effective, especially for lower quantities of parts, and parts that would traditionally be considered too difficult or unusual to mold.
We want our customers to be comfortable with the process, and confident in our capabilities.
Below is a step-by-step guide to our injection molding process and how we can help you turn your designs into reality.
1. Design Draft
The first step to any well-made tool is a well-thought-out plan. We work with our clients at whatever stage of the planning process they are in. From a sketch on a napkin to an already created CAD file, we reviewing your plans and get frank, honest feedback on how your design can be revised or enhanced.
2. Creating A CAD File
All prototypes first begin as a CAD file. This is where the design process really starts to take place as all the fine details are fleshed out. It’s here where the partnership between Buffalo Manufacturing and the client is truly cultivated, as we determine what the official design we are moving forward with is.
Rapid prototyping a part is an excellent way to save on costs while still interacting with a realistic model of your part. This stage allows for further inspection and refinement, as you’re able see and touch the part, and evaluate how it will interact with the application it intends to fulfill. This is where any final changes are made and last-minute details are attended to.
4. Plastic Material Selection
In this stage, we conduct multiple thorough conversations with the client determines what characteristics are most important in their part and what plastic material best accommodates those characteristics. We are even capable of working with custom compounders of plastic resins. During this stage, all the final details regarding the molded part’s materials and functionality are determined.
The material (and additives) you choose have a huge impact on how plastic will flow through the mold, what the process will be, and the look and feel of the final product. Additionally, there is no “perfect” polymer. This is why are discussions and counsel during this phase are thorough.
5. Computer-Simulated Tool Creation
This is perhaps the longest and most crucial step of the process. We use a DFM (Design for Manufacturing) report, or computer simulation, to create a digital tool to see what design flaws there may be, if any.
This DFM report is essentially a manufacturability study to determine if the part is well suited for mass production. We do a complete part review and work with the client to get the design optimal for manufacturing.
This step is essential for assessing any final potential problems or pitfalls we may run into during production. This step is also helpful in determining what changes can be made to cut back on costs or produce a more efficient part.
6. Tool Production
After all production details are finally determined, a first initial tool is created. Once they have assessed the real-life part, and if everything is to their specifications, the client our gives the final go-ahead to begin production if everything is to their satisfaction.
7. Parts Production
Once all final details are determined and the client has approved the initial tool, we are ready for production!
Take Advantage of Our Injection Molding Expertise
Taking advantage of the expertise and experience of the skilled design and production team at Buffalo Manufacturing can mitigate most of the presumed “disadvantages” of injection molding custom parts.
We work together, in-house, and take great care to ensure the tooling and prototyping costs and lead time are as low as possible, while maintaining our commitment to superior quality.
Contact us today to learn more about our custom plastic injection molding capabilities.