How To Reduce Molding Costs

If you’ve started getting quotes for injection molding, you already have a sense of how expensive it can be. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help reduce your molding costs. Here are the best ways to lower your injection molding costs.

Design for Efficiency

In general, you want to design your product to take advantage of how the molding process works. The easier it is to make, package, and fulfill your orders, the cheaper the process will be. 

In addition to following design best practices like rounding corners, adding appropriate draft for easier ejection, and keeping walls sufficiently thick, here are some other ways to make the process as efficient as possible.

Design Self-Mating Parts

Why build two mating parts when you can make one? By redesigning the snaps so the halves can be fit together from either direction, you reduce the need for two separate molds.

Use a Family or Multi-Cavity Mold

The more pieces you can make from each mold at once, the fewer molds you need and the more use you can get out of each mold. As long as all the materials are similar, a family mold is capable of including multiple parts.

Use Core Cavities

Molding a box-shaped part around a core rather than sinking the wall cavities deep into the mold base is a much more cost-effective method of molding ribbed surfaces and tall walls. It also makes it easier to provide adequate venting, smooth surface finishes, and improved ejection as well as eliminating the need for super-steep draft angles.

Use Overmolding

Overmolding might cost more upfront, but adding a secondary material to your product using another mold can be cheaper than paying somebody to manually add a gasket or other part later.

Choose the Right Material

Depending on your design, you may not be able to use the cheapest material possible, but you probably don’t need to use the most expensive one, either. Work with your mold designer to choose a resin that will do what you need it to without adding to the cost.

Reduce Solid Part Areas

Having hollow parts not only saves you money on the part materials, but it can also save on shipping since your product will be lighter.

Analyze Structural Requirements

Which areas of your part are most critical to its function and quality? You might find areas where a rib or gusset gives the strength you need, rather than a completely solid area.

Simplify Your Design

The simpler your design, the easier it will be to design the mold and make your product. Here are a couple of things to consider when simplifying your mold design.

Avoid Unnecessary Processes or Features

Do you really need embellishments like built-in finishes and textures, embossed or engraved company logos, or other unnecessary design elements or flourishes? Does your entire mold need to be polished, or just one part? Are there unnecessary hooks and rims in the design?

Eliminate Undercuts

Undercut features complicate or prevent part ejection. Try to eliminate them from your design. However, if you can’t, try changing the draft angles and parting line or using sliding shutoffs and pass-through cores for an easier mold build.

Pay Attention to DFM Analysis

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) Analysis shows where you can improve your manufacturing process or overall design of your plastic products. It can help spot problems in your manufacturing system during the early stages (during prototype manufacturing at the latest), like insufficient angles, bad shapes, and miscalculated geometries. That can help offset later expenses.

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