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What is a reasonable cost for a plastic injection mold?

Looking forward to getting a plastic injection mold for your business but wondering how much it’s going to cost? The price of a plastic injection mold can vary widely depending on a number of factors; hence, you would better be equipped with a pretty substantial budget range.

A plastic injection molding can cost you somewhere in the range of $100 and $100,000, depending on the mold material you are using, the complexity of the final product, labor costs, project size, and much more.

To give you a better idea, we’ll break down the potential factors that contribute to the cost of the plastic injection mold. In addition, we’ve also drawn a comparison between the high-cost and low-cost materials for injection molding so you can determine if you are getting a fair price.

The 6 Major Factors that Affect the Cost of a Plastic Injection Mold

There are several factors that will affect the cost of your plastic injection mold, including the size and complexity of the mold, the material you’re using, the number of cavities in the mold, and the type of injection molding machine you’re using.

Scroll down the page and take a closer look at some of them here to get an idea of what you can expect to pay. 

    • Mold Material

There are many different types of materials that can be used for plastic injection molds, including fluoropolymers, resins, and elastomers. The material selection for a particular application will depend on the required properties of the final molded part, such as strength, durability, chemical resistance, and heat tolerance.

Since the material of the mold can significantly affect the overall price of the entire process, manufacturers should make a wise choice and try to invest in an option that retains its characteristics over several years.

    • The size and complexity of the product

The cost of a plastic injection mold can vary depending on the complexity of the product. A simple product may only require a single cavity mold, while a more complex product may require multiple cavities.

Also, larger molds or molds with more complex designs will generally be more expensive, as they increase the number of undercuts while complicating the process. The more intricate the component, the more challenging it is to design, and the more pricey the end product will be.

    • Cavities

The number of cavities in your mold will also have an effect on cost. In general, more cavities mean more potential parts can be made from each cycle of injection molding, which can save you money in the long run.

However, it also means a higher initial investment for your project. This is because more cavities require more hours to build the mold and more precision is needed to ensure each cavity is identical.

    • Mold Base

The mold base is the foundation of the injection mold and must be strong enough to support the weight of the mold and the pressures of the injection process. The cost of a mold base depends on the size and complexity of the mold, as well as the material used. Mold bases can be made from steel, aluminum, or plastic, with steel being the most expensive option.

    • Choice of Resin

When it comes to the cost of a plastic injection mold, the choice of resin is one of the most significant factors that cannot be overlooked. There are a wide variety of resins available on the market, each with its own unique properties and price point. As a result, the cost of a plastic injection mold can vary widely depending on the type of resin used.

For example, teflon is a commonly used resin that is known for its strength and durability. However, it is also one of the more expensive resins on the market. In contrast, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a less expensive resin that is often used in applications where weight is not as much of a concern.

    • Size of the product

The size of the product is yet another important consideration when determining the cost of a plastic injection mold. The larger the product, the more expensive the mold will be. In addition, larger products take quite a longer to manufacture, which further increases the costs.

A Guide to the Low-Cost and High-Cost Plastic Injection Molding Materials

Plastic injection molding is one of the most commonly used manufacturing processes in the world. And while it’s a versatile and efficient way to produce parts, there’s one thing that can make or break your project: the material of the mold you use.

Here, we will explore the different plastic injection molding materials, their benefits, and their costs so you have a good understanding of which material is best for your project.

Low-Cost and Affordable Plastic Injection Mold Materials

Here’s a quick rundown of the four low-cost plastic injection molding materials that are well-suited for a variety of applications.

    • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS is the acronym of three different monomers, namely acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. This combination of monomers gives ABS outstanding strength and rigidity, making it ideal for a wide range of applications.

ABS is also characterized by its high impact resistance and toughness. It has excellent resistance to chemicals and abrasion, making it an ideal material for many industrial applications. In addition, ABS can be easily molded and shaped into complex designs.

While this material is not that heat resistant, it can be reinforced with fillers to improve its quality. 

    • Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a versatile plastic that can be used in a variety of applications. It is a relatively low-cost plastic, making it an attractive option for many manufacturers.

Polypropylene is durable and resistant to many chemicals, making it ideal for use in a variety of industries. It can also withstand high temperatures and retains its properties intact for quite a long time.

    • PVC

Yet another affordable material on the list is Polyvinyl Chloride. PVC is a strong, durable plastic that offers good resistance to chemicals and weathering. It’s often used in outdoor applications where it would be exposed to the elements. PVC is also an inexpensive material, making it a good choice for many budget-minded projects.

    • Polyethylene

Polyethylene is one of the most commonly used plastics in the world. It is inexpensive, durable, and versatile. Polyethylene can be used to make a wide variety of products, including packaging, toys, and pipes.

There are two main types of polyethylene: low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

LDPE is less dense than water and has a lower melting point. It is often used to make plastic bags and food wraps. HDPE is denser than water and has a higher melting point. It is often used to make bottles, containers, and pipe fittings.

High-Cost and Expensive Plastic Injection Molding Materials

High-cost mold materials are generally stronger or boast special properties that make them suitable for specialized functions. Here, we have put together the 4 best but most expensive plastic injection mold materials. Check them out and see if they fit your budget.

    • PEEK (Polyetheretherketone)

PEEK is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties. It can operate at temperatures up to 250°C (482°F) and is often used as an alternative to metal in high-temperature applications.

This material is also FDA-approved for food contact applications. However, it is one of the costliest plastics injection molding materials, with prices of medical-grade PEEK typically ranging from $400 per pound.

    • Teflon

Teflon is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene. It is used as a low-friction coating on cookware, and as a material for non-stick pans. Teflon is also used in other applications where low friction and heat resistance are required, such as in lubricants, coatings for gears and bearings, hydraulic fluids, and mold release agents.

In the plastics industry, Teflon is used as a release agent for molds and dyes, and as an additive to improve the flow of plastic resins during injection molding.

    • Polysulfone

Polysulfone plastic is a high-cost plastic used in injection molding. It is strong and heat resistant, making it ideal for applications where those properties are required. PSU is a clear, amber, or milky white thermoplastic with good dimensional stability and impact resistance properties.

PSU is often used in medical and food contact applications. However, it is one of the more expensive plastics injection molding materials and its high cost generally makes it prohibitive for some applications.

    • PC (Polycarbonate)

PC is a clear or colored thermoplastic with good optical and mechanical properties. It can operate at temperatures up to 140°C (284°F). PC is often used in medical and optical applications.

It is characterized by its high strength and impact resistance, making it an ideal choice for products that will see heavy use or exposure to harsh conditions. However, PC has relatively expensive mold material, which is why it is one of the least preferred choices for budget-oriented manufacturers.

The Cost Comparison Between Low-Cost and High-Cost Plastic Injection Mold Materials

Since now you are covered with the list of cheap and expensive plastic injection molding materials, it’s time to draw a comparison table between them to get a clear and better idea.

Low-Cost Mold Materials

Type of Thermoplastic MaterialPrice per pound
ABS$1.30
Polypropylene$0.90
Polyethylene$1.20
Polystyrene$1.00

High-Cost Mold Materials

Type of Thermoplastic MaterialPrice per pound
Nylon$2.20
Polycarbonate$2.30
Polysulfone$3.80

How to Lower the Cost of a Plastic Injection Mold?

One of the most important factors in deciding whether or not to use plastic injection molding for your product is the cost. Plastic injection molding can be a costly endeavor, and if you’re not careful, it can eat into your profits.

But you can make it profitable by using some smart tips and tricks. Here, we will explore how to lower plastic injection mold costs. From choosing the right material to working with a reputable company, there are a number of ways you can keep costs down and still produce a high-quality product.

    • Use Affordable Plastic Injection Mold Materials

If you’re looking to lower your plastic injection mold costs, one of the best ways to do so is to use affordable plastic injection molds. There are a number of companies that offer these molds at very reasonable rates, and by doing some research, you should be able to find one that fits your budget.

Reconsider the materials you are using and switch to a less expensive material without compromising quality or functionality.

    • Reduces Unnecessary Product Features

Focus on reducing the number of extra features in your mold and save yourself from shelling out bucks. Every feature that is added to a product will add to the cost of the mold, so it is important to carefully consider which features are truly necessary.

One way to simplify your products is to use functional integration, where multiple functions are combined into a single component.

    • Invest in good-quality, durable molds

One way to reduce the final molding cost is to invest in good-quality, durable molds. Although these may initially cost more money, they will save you money in the long run by lasting longer and requiring less maintenance.

Of course, every product is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing costs. However, by carefully evaluating each individual component and considering ways to simplify or streamline the design, it is often possible to significantly lower the overall cost of your plastic injection molded products.

Conclusion

The cost of a plastic injection mold can vary widely depending on the size and complexity of the mold and the best way to determine it is to consult with a professional plastic injection molding company.

Also, there are a variety of ways you can follow down the road to lower the cost of plastic injection molding. By working with a reputable manufacturer, utilizing the latest technology, and streamlining your design, you can reduce your costs without sacrificing quality.

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