When you're starting out on your career using expensive injection moulding tools, it's important that you brief your toolmaker correctly in order to help them get the job right the first time.
Here are three top tips to help you.
Understand which polymer you are going to use
In order to brief your toolmaker correctly, it's important that you know which polymer you are planning on using, before they start making the tool. Every polymer has a different flow-rate and this means that the point of entry width will vary accordingly.
When choosing your polymer, you'll need to consider the following:
- heat resistance
- chemical resistance
- tensile strength
- flexural strength
If you are not sure which polymer to choose, your injection moulding toolmaker is a good source of advice and information.
Decide which machines you will be using the injection moulding tool on
Although most injection moulding tools are, to some extent, interchangeable, it helps if you know which machines you are going to be using the tool on, as tie bar and nozzle sizes do vary.
Note here that if you are planning on using a machine with special features, such as auto two-shot mouldings or core-pulling, you will need to notify your toolmaker.
Be clear on the design and specification that you require
When briefing your toolmaker, make sure that you specify all your requirements before the job is started.
As part of the technical drawing that you will need to provide for the tool, you will need to include the precise functionality for all the integral parts of the injection moulding tool, including the tolerances you require between each part.
Remember that if you fail to brief the toolmaker accurately and you finish up with an injection moulding tool that doesn't produce the results you wanted, the responsibility lies with you for not providing an accurate specification. You should also bear in mind that, although adjustments can be made to the tool during the fabrication process, this will all add to the final cost.
If you're new to the process, it can be advisable to sit down with your designer and toolmaker and go over your requirements together. This collaboration can help to rule out misunderstandings that could prove costly later in the process.
When undertaking a project that requires a custom-made injection moulding tool, you can save money and hassle by ensuring that you brief your toolmaker properly at the outset of the project. Follow the guidelines above to make sure that you finish up with the tool you wanted and a perfect job.