Injection Molding Tolerances: A Guide to Perfection

injection molding tolerances

What do you think makes the world go round? The internet and finance certainly have their roles to play, but it’s all made possible with injection molding, the silent hero of our world.

If you look around you, no doubt you’ll see half a dozen products made using tight injection molding tolerances. Your computer mouse, the housing to your laptop or wireless keyboard, most Bluetooth speakers, even power tools like saws and drills, all need precision injection molding to do their job. Even pens and everyday mundane products invisibly make our lives easier.

What about the critical components that go unnoticed every day in automobiles, aerospace, and more? What kind of tolerances are they built and designed to?

Keep reading to find out!

1. The Part Materials

While designing the part usually comes first, we’ve put material as number one on this list because there’s such a large range of materials to use. Part design influences materials and materials influence part design.

Strength-to-weight ratios along are likely to influence how you design the part. Also, there are shrinkage rates of the materials as they cool, flex requirements, and more to think about.

Of course, don’t forget that you can have multi-material plastic injection molding when necessary.

2. Quality of Part Design

There’s no reason for tolerance or material choices if there’s no part to design, though. A part that is designed well for its task is the first and foremost concern. It can be designed to perfect tolerances, but if it fails at its job, what’s the point?

Once that’s been accomplished you still need to work with your injection molding partner. They can help you to determine wall thickness, boss features (for fasteners), and draft angles to optimize part ejection, among other things.

3. Injection Molding Tool Design

Tool design could be the most costly in time and resources. The manufacture of the mold is one of the most important steps in creating parts of high tolerance. Some considerations to be made for the tooling are:

  • Tool cooling
  • Ejector pin locations
  • Tool tolerances

If nothing else, remember that the mold gives the material its shape, so if it’s wrong every part is wrong. It’s the foundation of your part’s success.

4. Controlling and Tweaking the Process

You might think that once the tooling is done, the material is chosen, and the part has been designed expertly, it would just be a matter of pumping out the pieces.

T1 shots, or the first limited run, are a crucial part of finding optimal temperature, pressure, and holding times. Computer models only go so far, and these T1 shots can be important to finding failure points in tooling or the final part.

What’s Affecting Your Injection Molding Tolerances?

Have you spotted what could be affecting your injection molding tolerances?

Nova Stevensville is an injection molding facility in the southwest Michigan area, serving Detroit, Ohio, and Chicago regions. With over 100,000 sq ft dedicated to injection molding production with precision, we’re your tier-one and tier-two automotive injection molding partners.

We count on experience to navigate tough situations, and you can trust ours. Our executives have more than 100 years of combined industry experience to see you through your project.

Get in touch today and see what Nova Stevensville can do for you!

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