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Building Precision Injection Molds and Tooling for Precision Medical Products

Producing the custom injection molds and tooling for precision medical devices and components is a complex, highly involved process. At SRC Medical, we collaborate closely with our customers throughout the entire product development and design process to ensure that we build the proper tooling for each unique medical project at the right price point.

For ongoing production and/or high-volume runs, we can even employ further design improvements along the way to optimize tooling performance and maximize the service lifespan of the mold. The result is more consistent and repeatable product quality while keeping costs at a minimum. Below, we take a closer look at the art, science, and manufacturing experience that goes into designing the perfect injection mold.

Collaboration in Medical Product Design

We need a complete understanding of the medical product that you are manufacturing in order to fully optimize the mold and tooling setup. This includes all critical design elements like part size, geometry, tolerances, and overall complexity, as well as material selection production part volume.

However, our design experts will also consider the product’s end use, any extraneous factors that could affect service life or performance, along with cost and quality considerations. We can use this information to further optimize the product design and/or mold and tooling setup concurrently.

Designing Custom Injection Molds for Custom Medical Products:

Material Selection

The chosen materials can significantly affect the performance and thus the design of the mold. That’s why it’s important to decide on materials early in the process, testing multiple material options if necessary. SRC Medical’s design team chooses the appropriate material for each mold based on numerous factors like manufacturing material, expected production volume, and the specific parameters of the molding process to be used.

Gate Design

Selecting the right gate type and location is essential for proper material flow freely and evenly into the mold cavity. Common gate types include sprue, runner, and gate at various locations on the mold. These options are considered alongside the unique features and complexity of the product design to arrive at the most optimal gate arrangement.

Runner System

We design and incorporate an efficient runner system which facilitates uniform distributing material throughout the mold cavity and minimizing cycle time. This includes the layout and dimensions of runners, as well as the use of hot or cold runners to achieve the highest efficiency possible.

Cavity and Core Design

Developing precise cavity and core geometry is essential for producing accurate and high-quality injection molded parts. The design must consider factors such as draft angles, surface finishes, and cooling channels, as well as the unique physical properties of the plastic material to be used.

Draft Angles

Incorporating proper draft angles relative to part features helps facilitate ejection from the mold, preventing damage to both the part and the mold. Typically, a draft angle of at least 1 degree is needed to ensure consistent and reliable part injection.

Ejection System

Designing an effective ejection system, including ejector pins or sleeves, is crucial for removing the molded part from the mold without causing damage.

Cooling System

Efficient cooling is essential to maintain consistent cycle times, prevent warping, and ensure the overall quality of the molded plastic. Cooling channels are strategically placed to extract heat from the mold and facilitate even cooling.

Venting

Adequate venting is necessary to allow gasses to escape during the injection process. Insufficient venting can cause air to get trapped, resulting in defects like burns, bubbles, or voids in the final molded part.

Mold Steel Hardness

Selecting the appropriate hardness for mold steel is essential to withstand the wear and tear associated with repeated molding cycles. For example, we can use aluminum or softer mold steels for prototyping projects and low-volume runs. This saves money on the tooling process and allows for easier design modification.

Injection Molding Machine Compatibility

Of course, we also must make sure the mold design is compatible with the injection molding machines we will be employing for production. These considerations include clamp force, shot size, and other machine-specific parameters.

Testing and Design Validation

Perform thorough testing and validation of the mold design through prototyping and analysis to identify and address potential issues before mass production.

Quality Medical Injection Molding Services Since 1972

For more than half a century, SRC Plastics has remained one of Massachusetts’ leading injection molding companies for the food and beverage sector and beyond. We provide reliable American manufacturing services for virtually any molded plastic food products with a focus on better quality and better sustainability.