Schmit Prototypes is now TenX! Learn More!

Working Direct with a Manufacturer vs. Service Bureau

In the dynamic world of manufacturing, businesses seeking services like Injection Molding, CNC Machining, Urethane Casting, and 3D Printing often face a common challenge – choosing between working directly with a manufacturer or opting for a service bureau. At TenX Manufacturing, we take pride in offering a unique advantage by providing all our services in-house. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of working directly with a manufacturer like TenX, as opposed to navigating the maze of outsourcing and hidden charges associated with service bureaus.

  1. End-to-End Control: One of the key advantages of choosing TenX Manufacturing is the assurance of end-to-end control over the entire manufacturing process. From concept to completion, we have a dedicated team of experts handling Injection Molding, CNC Machining, Urethane Casting, and 3D Printing under one roof. This not only ensures a seamless workflow but also guarantees that the final product meets the highest quality standards.
  2. Single Point of Contact: When you partner with TenX, you gain the convenience of having a single point of contact throughout your project. Unlike service bureaus that may involve multiple intermediaries, TenX streamlines communication, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or delays. This direct line to the manufacturer allows for clearer communication, faster issue resolution, and a more personalized customer experience.
  3. Cost Efficiency: Outsourcing to service bureaus often comes with hidden fees and upcharges, leading to unexpected costs for the end customer. At TenX Manufacturing, we eliminate these uncertainties by providing transparent and competitive pricing. With all services in-house, we maintain control over costs and can offer a more cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.
  4. Quick Turnaround Times: In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, time is of the essence. Working directly with TenX allows for quicker decision-making and a more efficient production process. Our streamlined workflow ensures faster turnaround times, enabling you to meet tight deadlines and respond promptly to market demands.
  5. Customization and Flexibility: TenX Manufacturing understands that every project is unique. By working directly with us, you have the flexibility to customize your manufacturing process according to your specific requirements. Whether it’s modifying designs, adjusting production volumes, or incorporating special features, our in-house capabilities provide the flexibility needed to bring your vision to life.

In a market flooded with options, TenX Manufacturing stands out by offering a comprehensive suite of services under one roof. By choosing to work directly with us, you not only benefit from end-to-end control, cost efficiency, and quick turnaround times but also gain a valuable partner committed to your success. Say goodbye to the uncertainties of outsourcing and embrace the TenX advantage for a manufacturing experience that prioritizes precision, transparency, and customer satisfaction.

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Injection Molding, Backed by ISO9001:2015 Certification

In the dynamic world of manufacturing, efficiency is the key to success. TenX Manufacturing takes pride in offering a unique and comprehensive solution in the realm of injection molding. Unlike many competitors who specialize in either injection mold tooling or molded parts, TenX stands out by providing both services under one roof. This integrated approach not only streamlines the production process but also offers significant benefits to customers. Furthermore, TenX Manufacturing is proud to be ISO9001:2015 certified, underscoring our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

  1. Time Savings Through Vertical Integration: One of the standout features of TenX Manufacturing is the seamless integration of injection mold tooling and molded part production within a single facility. This eliminates the need for customers to ship tools or molded part samples back and forth between separate suppliers. This reduction in logistical complexities translates into substantial time savings, expediting the entire production timeline.
  2. Collaborative Expertise for Optimal Results: TenX’s competitive edge lies in fostering collaboration between highly skilled toolmakers and process engineers who work closely together throughout the entire manufacturing process. From the initial stages of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) to tool design and build, the partnership between these two critical entities ensures a holistic and cohesive approach. This collaboration guarantees that the final molded parts meet the highest standards of quality and precision.
  3. Collective Knowledge Advantage: Having both toolmakers and process engineers under one roof provides TenX Manufacturing with a unique collective knowledge advantage. The synergy between these teams allows for real-time problem-solving, continuous improvement, and efficient decision-making. This not only enhances the overall quality of the injection molding process but also positions TenX as a reliable partner capable of adapting to evolving customer needs.
  4. Seamless Transition from Prototyping to Production: TenX’s integrated approach enables a smooth transition from prototyping to full-scale production. With the entire process taking place within the same facility, adjustments and improvements identified during the initial prototyping phase can be seamlessly incorporated into the production process, ensuring a more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing journey.
  5. ISO9001:2015 Certification – Ensuring Quality and Customer Satisfaction: TenX Manufacturing’s commitment to excellence is further demonstrated by our ISO9001:2015 certification. This internationally recognized quality management standard ensures that our processes are systematically monitored and continuously improved. By adhering to ISO9001:2015 standards, we guarantee a high level of quality control throughout the injection molding process, resulting in products that consistently meet or exceed customer expectations.
  6. Customer-Centric Approach: By offering a comprehensive solution, TenX Manufacturing demonstrates a customer-centric approach. The elimination of the need to coordinate between multiple suppliers not only simplifies the customer experience but also reduces the likelihood of miscommunications and delays, contributing to overall customer satisfaction.

In a competitive market where time and precision are of the essence, TenX Manufacturing’s all-in-one solution for injection molding, backed by ISO9001:2015 certification, sets it apart as a reliable and efficient partner for businesses seeking a streamlined manufacturing process. With an integrated team of experts and a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, TenX is poised to be the go-to choice for injection molding services.

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Introducing TenX Manufacturing

Dear Valued Customers and Website Visitors,

We hope this message finds you well. We are delighted to share some thrilling news with you that marks a significant milestone in our company’s journey. After much reflection and growth, we are proud to announce that we are rebranding our company from Schmit Prototypes to TenX Manufacturing!

Along with the rebranding of our company we will also become an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This change is a result of our dedication to continuous improvement and our commitment to providing you with the best possible products and services. While we have cherished our time as Schmit Prototypes, we believe that TenX Manufacturing better reflects the evolution of our capabilities, vision, and commitment to excellence in the manufacturing industry.

What does TenX Manufacturing mean?

“TenX” represents our renewed determination to go above and beyond for you – our valued customers – in every aspect of our work. The “Ten” represents our wide range (10+) in-house capabilities, and signifies our tenfold efforts to deliver innovative, top-notch manufacturing solutions to meet your evolving needs. The “X” is also symbolic of the diversity of our offerings, being able to provide our customers with manufacturing solutions in both prototype & production volumes. With our customer-centric approach and cutting-edge technology, we aim to empower your business with manufacturing solutions that propel your success to new heights.

What to expect:

Rebrand: Though our name is changing, the core values and expertise that have made us your trusted partner remain unchanged. We will continue to provide the same exceptional level of quality, precision, and efficiency that you have come to expect from us. Our passionate team of experts remains committed to exceeding your expectations and bringing your projects to life with dedication and attention to detail.

ISO 9001:2015 Certification: ISO 9001:2015 is an internationally recognized standard for quality management systems, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This certification sets forth rigorous requirements for businesses to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer requirements and adhere to regulatory standards.

What does this mean for our business?

The journey towards ISO 9001:2015 certification has been a testament to our unwavering dedication to quality, process efficiency, and continuous improvement. Throughout this process, we have meticulously examined and fine-tuned our internal processes to ensure the highest level of quality in every aspect of our operations.

How does this certification benefit you, our valued customers?

  • Enhanced Product Quality: ISO 9001:2015 certification serves as an assurance that our manufacturing processes meet international quality standards. You can be confident that the products you receive from TenX Manufacturing will consistently meet or exceed your expectations.
  • Improved Customer Service: With a robust quality management system in place, our customer service will be further refined, ensuring that we promptly address your inquiries, provide accurate information, and promptly handle any concerns you may have.
  • On-time Delivery: The certification process has allowed us to optimize our production schedules and streamline logistics, enabling us to deliver your orders promptly and efficiently.
  • Continual Improvement: Our commitment to continuous improvement means that we are constantly striving to enhance our processes, products, and services. As a result, your feedback and suggestions are invaluable in our pursuit of excellence.

When will we receive the certification?

The final stage of the certification process is underway, and we expect to receive the official ISO 9001:2015 certification by the end of 2023. Rest assured that we will continue to maintain the highest standards to retain this esteemed recognition and continuously improve for your benefit.

We sincerely appreciate your unwavering support as we embark on this rebranding journey. It is because of customers like you that we continue to grow and thrive in this industry. Thank you for being an essential part of our success story.

We look forward to serving you as TenX Manufacturing and continuing to be your preferred manufacturing partner.

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The Many Benefits of 3D Printing

3D printing has been around in concept for decades but it wasn’t until the 2010s when it really took off across industries. Aside from references in works of fiction, 3D printing as we know it dates to 1971, when inventor Johannes F. Gootwald patented the Liquid Metal Recorder, a device that’s considered the precursor to 3D printing. Since then, as technologies have evolved, 3D printing has gone from being a novel concept to a useful tool that helps design engineers and their organizations prototype and manufacture components for their applications.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and gone are the days of 3D printing being associated with proof-of-concept products or poor-quality prototypes only. Today, key benefits of 3D printing include expedited product development, precision accuracy, the ability to print using a wide range of materials, how scalable it is, the ability to handle complex geometry without an inflated price tag, all resulting in how affordable 3D printing prototype costs have become. In fact, technologies have become so advanced indicating the manufacture of 3D-printed products can even reduce waste and provide a more sustainable world to live in.

A Closer Look at 3D Printing Benefits

The goal: expedited product development that boosts overall efficiency without inflating costs. With 3D printing, imagining the reduction of your organization’s labor costs while completing your application’s parts and components sooner with precision accuracy becomes reality. One of the signature benefits of 3D printing is it reduces the chance of production errors. Prototypes manufactured are extremely accurate, meaning you can shift gears to refine your final part or component for final production.

Choosing from a wide range of materials may seem overwhelming if you aren’t accustomed to it, but being open to new printing processes and materials will help you complete your application faster and cheaper, as 3D printing reduces your overall prototype cost. With help from our team, our experts can help you choose the most effective printing methods to meet your requirements.

Ultimately, with the precision and speed that comes from 3D printing you can worry less about production and think more about how your new components will integrate into your larger systems and final product. This allows you to think more strategically while incorporating your high-level business needs. Further, 3D printers can handle complex geometry which allows for the production of more intricate and detailed prototypes at a reduced cost per unit.

How Does 3D Printing Your Products Reduce Waste?

Nearly all 3D printers can be used to make products in rapid succession, but industrial 3D printers come with a host of advanced benefits, especially for companies interested in the prototyping and manufacturing of their products using sustainable methods. This is because unlike more traditional methods of production, which often results in a lot of leftover scraps, 3D printing builds items layer-by-layer, resulting in zero waste. Raw materials used for 3D printing also tend to be more sustainable than the steel or plastic commonly used for traditional manufacturing.

Explore the Benefits of Our 3D Printing Capabilities

We are a leading prototype manufacturing company with rapid production 3D printing capabilities. We can build models in the following sizes:

SLA Models: Up to 25.6″ x 29.5″ x 21.65″ (650mm x 750mm x 550mm)
FDM Models: Up to: 36″ x 24″ x 36″ (914mm x 610mm x 914mm)
SLS Models: Up to 15″ x 13″ x 18″ (550mm x 550mm x 460mm)
Polyjet Models: Up to 19.7″ x 15.7″ x 7.9″ (500mm x 400mm x 200mm)

Our experts can also produce larger models capable of being virtually any size, as they can be sectioned and assembled upon completion. Contact us to learn more about our capabilities or to get started.

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What Are the Main Types of Manufacturing Processes?

There is a wide range of manufacturing processes available, and it’s good to have a basic understanding of at least some of them to help determine which option is best for your application’s requirements. The primary manufacturing processes TenX Manufacturing offers are 3D printing, urethane casting, CNC machining and injection molding.

Get an overview of each manufacturing process with the simple guide below to see which option may be best for bringing your application to the finish line.

3D Printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, took off in the 1980s and it has since burst in popularity as the technology improves while prices fall. The premise is that 3D-printable models can be produced using a computer-aided design (CAD) with a scanner. Part of the appeal in using this technology is it’s easy to identify mistakes before physically printing items, which is great for saving time and money. 3D printers are also capable of producing complex shapes and parts that would otherwise be difficult to create.

Our 3D printing service is called “rapid” for a reason. We can take data and convert it into a physical model in short periods of time. In addition to rapid turnaround, our 3D printers are adaptable and versatile, allowing us the ability to print using a wide range of materials. Put it all together and we can produce prototypes with tight tolerances that are extremely accurate on a modest budget.

Depending on your needs, we offer stereolithography (SLA), fused deposition modeling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), and polyjet 3D printing. Consult our project managers for help determining which method works best for your application.

Urethane Casting

If you want to produce rubber or plastic components without hard tooling costs, urethane casting is a great option. An alternative to injection molding, urethane casting creates a silicone mold using a master pattern, which comes from 3D printing. Urethane casting is ideal for one-off projects, and it’s also suitable for low-volume production runs, producing visual models, and product testing. Part of what makes this manufacturing process so effective is the molding materials are versatile, and can include various shapes and sizes.

CNC Machining

Computerized numerical control (CNC) machining requires software and language — known as G or M code — to guide an automated, computerized manufacturing process. Mechanical dimensions are provided to the machine using CAD software, which is then translated into directives for manufacturing. These motorized manufacturing tools are capable of working with plastic, metal, wood, and other materials, and they can create items that can come close to matching the final appearance of most products.

At TenX Manufacturing, we offer CNC milling, turning, and electrical discharge machining to produce highly accurate parts and engineering prototypes. Contact us to learn about our CNC machining capabilities.

Injection Molding

There’s some nuance when it comes to injection molding methods, which seems reasonable given injection molding is a manufacturing technique that’s now more than 150 years old. However, injection molding machines have this in common: they each consist of an injection unit, a mold, and a clamp.

Our manufacturing process for injection molding begins with plastic material being forced into a mold cavity where, under pressure, pelletized resins and colorants are fed into either a Nissei or Nestal machine. At that time, the resins and colorants are added into an injection barrel to be heated for melting. The material is then forced into a mold cavity for cooling and eventual removal from the cavity, leaving a completed prototype.

Full-Service Prototype Manufacturing

Have questions or concerns about manufacturing your prototype? Let’s connect. For over 40 years, our experts have provided comprehensive manufacturing services and superior customer service. A project manager will meet with you to determine the full scope of your project and identify the perfect service to meet your application’s requirements.

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Resin Types: ABS vs. HDPE vs. TPU Injection Molding

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU) are commonly used thermoplastic polymers — a plastic material that becomes pliable or moldable at an elevated temperature and solidifies once it has cooled — used in injection molding projects.

Considering the benefits of ABS, HDPE and TPU injection molding can help you determine which are the best injection molding materials to meet your project needs.

ABS Injection Molding

ABS injection molding is often used to manufacture sporting goods, medical devices and industrial applications. So, how do you make ABS plastic molds? It’s easy to get the raw materials for, is considered to have good overall performance, it’s inexpensive, and ABS is among the most common plastic resins used for injection molding manufacturing.

A commodity resin, ABS is a suitable choice for producing inexpensive and strong plastic that will hold up against external conflict. ABS injection molding is resistant to humidity, temperature and frequency of use, making it a top choice among injection molding materials. It’s even resistant to most oils and acids, making it popular for furniture, packaging and toys.

ABS is a top choice in 3D printing and is the standard injection molding method for making prototypes.

HDPE Injection Molding

HDPE injection molding is made from the polymerization of ethylene. Its strength-to-density ratio is superb, designating it a standard choice in the manufacturing of water bottles, milk jugs, plastic envelope mailers, piping and food storage containers.

Another inexpensive commodity resin, HDPE plastic for injection molding is melted into a moldable state and is then transferred into the cavity of the mold once it has reached the correct temperature to meet your HDPE injection molding needs. Note that as soon as it’s in the cavity, it begins hardening quickly. HDPE is popular for its customization control and is among the most efficient choices for injection molding manufacturing.

TPU Injection Molding

TPU injection molding is best suited for applications that require the elasticity of rubber with high tear strength. TPU is elastic, can be painted, performs well at high temperatures, and is resistant to water, fuel and chemicals. TPU also needs little or no compounding.

TPU injection molding is popular in the manufacturing of sporting goods, medical devices and is a favorite for use in automobile manufacturing. An engineering resin, TPU is pricier than working with ABS or HDPE.

Glass Alternative Resin

There’s another injection molding resin type you may want to look at if you require an alternative to glass: polycarbonate injection molding. Polycarbonate is a lightweight resin that is pliable and has a natural UV filter.

An engineering resin, polycarbonate is an amazing alternative to glass, as it’s transparent and resistant to cracks and breaks. From manufacturing light fixtures to eyewear and medical devices, polycarbonate injection molding is a popular resin type. However, polycarbonate is not always preferred, since it’s prone to scratching.

Want to learn more about ABS, HDPE, TPU or polycarbonate injection molding, or ready to get started on your own injection molding prototype? Contact our experts to start your project today!

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Comparing Insert Molding vs. Injection Molding

Injection molding is a subset of the injection molding process. An accomplice, if you will. When determining whether insert versus injection molding is what’s needed in the manufacturing of your products, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of each process and how they can help make the products you need.

Understanding the benefits of insert molding versus injection molding will increase efficiency, production, and save on your bottom line in the manufacturing of your products.

Behind Injection Molding

Clamp down. Injection. Cool off. Ejection. That’s the never-ending cycle of injection molding.

Injection molding is a manufacturing process used to produce parts by injecting molten material into a mold that has been carefully assembled to meet the needs of a specific design, such as an overhead locker door for a jet airplane, or part of a toy set.

This process can be achieved with a variety of materials, such as plastics, and the material is fed into a heated barrel and then shot into a mold cavity, where it will quickly cool and harden into the object it’s meant to become. Then the item is removed from the mold cavity and the process continues on, as more and more items are manufactured.

The prototype injection molding process at TenX starts with plastic material being forced into a mold cavity under pressure. Pelletized resins, as well as any required colorants, are fed into an injection molding machine. The resins and colorants are inserted into an injection barrel where they are heated and melted, then forced into the mold cavity where it cools. Overall, it’s a process which is very fast and easy to repeat with predictable outcomes which help streamline your manufacturing process.

How Insert Molding Contrasts Versus Injection Molding

Insert molding is the process in which thermoplastic material is molded around a preformed insert to make a part that includes multiple materials. The inserts are often metal parts used to reinforce mechanical properties that are part of a plastic item. Inserts are placed into a mold, and then the thermoplastic is added to create the part.

Insert molding products include medical devices, electronic components and consumer products. It’s also common for insert molding products to be components under the hood in automobiles, and they are also incorporated in aerospace design and on aircraft. When determining which insert molding products you can make, note that most thermoplastic resins work well within the insert molding process.

Final Thoughts: Insert Molding Versus Injection Molding

An advantage in utilizing insert molding versus injection molding is it’s quick and cost-efficient as it helps speed up the manufacturing process. When determining to go with insert molding versus injection molding, insert molding has become increasingly common in the manufacturing of products, since the combination of plastic and metal blends the function and convenience of the lighter-weight plastic with the strength and endurance of the metal.

Ready to get one step closer to completing your insert or injection molding prototypes? Our expert team is here to help. If you have any questions about how we work, or the services we can provide, reach out to our team.

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Improve Your Medical Injection Molding Validation Process

The procedure for validating the medical injection molding process is critical to verify that the system offers repeatability, assurance of accuracy, and a high degree of quality. It’s important to receive validation for medical injection molding so it’s consistent and traceable. To meet these requirements, manufacturers use a three-step validation process described as:

  1. Installation Qualification (IQ)
  2. Operation Qualification (OQ)
  3. Performance Qualification (PQ).

These procedures help qualify Tooling, Materials, Equipment, Systems and Processes. The goal is to validate that the entire life cycle of the medical injection molding process is repeatable and traceable with a high confidence level that the quality repeats from lot to lot and year to year.

The Medical Injection Molding Process

There are four major variables that control the process: melt temperature, fill speed, pack pressure and cooling rate.

  • Melt Temperature: The temperature at which the polymer will begin to melt
  • Fill Speed: The time it takes to fill the mold with polymer
  • Pack Pressure: The pressure applied to the melt to pack in the polymer and to force more of it into the mold
  • Cooling Rate: When there is no more pressure being applied, how long it takes for the melted polymer to cool

Three of the variables are easy to duplicate from run to run. However, measuring melt temperature has always been a mystery, as it is difficult to measure accurately. Molders agree that melt temperature measurement remains one of the “last frontiers” of medical injection molding process control.

“You can’t control what you can’t measure” is a fundamental axiom, and the problem here is the lack of an accurate, repeatable, practical, and generally accepted method of measuring the melt temperature.

Why is it important to control melt temperature?

Melt temperature influences the plastic’s viscosity or resistance to flow (thinness or thickness), which is critical in obtaining optimal part dimensional control. Consistent viscosity allows for repeatable filling of mold with consistent cavity pressure, and less part to part and lot to lot variation. You will get a tighter “bell curve” on dimensional variation.

A revolutionary new system has been in development for the last 4 ½ years called the Melt Temperature Measurement System (MTMS). There are two major principles that define the system.

  1. An insulated cup is used to keep the purge molten so it can be measured before it solidifies.
  2. There is a defined flow path in the system that forces the molten material over the thermocouple probe.

A high-speed pyrometer records the peak temperature. It is fast, repeatable and easy to use. Gage R&R studies have been successfully completed.

Start Validating Your Medical Injection Molding

OEM Medical Companies should ask in-house molders and contract molders if they are monitoring and documenting melt temperatures. Contract or custom molders should be monitoring and documenting melt temperature as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to improve your medical injection molding validation process.

Do you know your Melt temperature?

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A Guide to Improving Your Plastic Injection Molding


Plastic injection molding is one of the most common manufacturing processes because of its ability to produce identical parts at a rapid rate. Almost every industry has some demand for plastic injection molded parts; a wide variety of consumer products are manufactured by injection molding, which varies greatly in their size, complexity, and application.

The plastic injection molding process requires the use of an injection molding machine, plastic resin pellets, and a mold. The plastic resin pellets are melted in the injection molding machine and then injected into the mold, where it cools and solidifies into the final part.

Our variety of press sizes ranging from 7-500 tons allow us to meet your injection molding needs in both prototype and production volumes ranging from 100 to 1,000,000+ parts. This allows us to produce quality plastic injection molded parts while cutting down time to market.

We offer both overmolding and insert molding, both of which are standard injection molding processes.

Overmolding involves two or more materials molded together to become one part. Most commonly when a substrate is placed into the mold and plastic resin is then overmolded around, over, or through it.

Insert Molding involves a preformed part, such as a metal insert to be inserted in the mold for injected plastic to flow around, over, or through it to result in a single molded plastic piece which has encapsulated the insert.

We’ve put together some commonly asked questions about plastic injection molding, so that you can find out if it is the best process for your product.

Why Choose Plastic Injection Molding?

Injection molded parts offer incredible accuracy and repeatability at a cost-efficient price point. Plastic injection molding is also a very efficient way of producing parts; cycle times can range from a few seconds to a couple of minutes depending on the size of the part and the number of cavities in the mold.

There are numerous materials available that offer different, unique characteristics that fit a wide range of applications. At TenX Manufacturing, we use pelletized resins and as well as any colorants required. The parts can be completely customized with molded-in inserts, custom colors and branded logos. Once plastic injection molded parts are removed from the mold, they are a finished product with the exception of a few post-process steps like sonic welding, UV laser marking/pad printing, or further part assembly.

What is plastic injection molding used for?

Injection molding is used by almost every industry, the majority of plastic products in the world today are injection molded parts. Consumer products like cell phone cases, implantable medical devices, automotive parts, and so many more are examples of how injection molding is integrated into everyday life.

We currently have a shot size range of .152oz – 54oz, so we can produce plastic injection molding parts within these sizes for any industry.

What material are injection molds made of?

There are many factors in determining what kind of mold should be built (prototype, production, single-cavity, or multi-cavity) and most are typically made from aluminum or tool steel.

For building aluminum injection molds, the most commonly used grade of aluminum is 7075; these aluminum molds are typically a great fit for prototype or short-run production. Steel tooling is commonly produced from tool steel in the following grades: P20, H13, A2, D2, and 4140. These steel molds are a great fit for high-volume injection molding or when molded parts are being produced from abrasive material like glass-filled nylon.

Why are injection molds so expensive?

Building an injection mold is a lengthy and potentially expensive process that starts with an understanding of the part that needs to be molded. Potential plastic injection molding problems can be minimized by performing upfront precautions like mold-flow simulations, fill and warp analysis; these measures can highlight potential issues and save time & money down the road.

The block of material, whether aluminum or steel from which the mold will be made, is also a determining factor in the cost of injection tooling. Part geometry and number of cavities will directly correlate to the amount of CNC machine time that is required to make the mold. Parts that have complex geometries (undercuts) that require any additional movement in the tool other than open or close will add to the complexity and cost of the injection mold tool.

How to Optimize the Plastic Injection Molding Process

Optimize the Part Design for Injection Molding

Having a part properly designed for prototype injection molding is critical to achieving manufacturing success. Things to consider include:

  • Material
  • Wall thickness
  • Draft
  • Undercuts
  • Gates & gate locations
  • Part ejection
  • Texture

Utilizing software such as Mold-Flow Simulation & Warp Analysis is extremely beneficial and can highlight potential issues prior to building an injection tool.

Understand Common Plastic Injection Molding Part Defects

Understanding the injection molding process as well as the common defects that can happen to injection molded parts:

  • Warp
  • Flash
  • Sink
  • Knit lines
  • Splay
  • Burn marks
  • Short shot
  • Air voids
  • Material degradation

Although some of these defects can happen from improper injection molding processing, properly designed parts and injection mold tooling can minimize these from happening.

Correct Injection Mold Processing

The plastic injection molding cycle occurs by melting plastic resin pellets and injecting the molten material under pressure into a closed metal mold tool. This process is repeated time and time again to produce large quantities of parts at a cost-efficient rate.

  1. Clamping: The two sides of the mold are closed and clamped shut.
  2. Injection: The plastic resin pellets are fed into the machine and pushed towards the mold. While this is happening, the material is melted by heat and pressure. The molten plastic is then injected into the mold — this is called the “shot.”
  3. Cooling: The molten plastic that was injected into the mold is cooled and returns back to a solid state.
  4. Ejection: Once the part has cooled, it is ejected from the mold.

This is a complex process and it takes numerous pieces of equipment and highly trained individuals to oversee the entire process.

Perfect the Process With a Melt Temperature Measurement System Kit

If you do choose to do your own plastic injection molding, you’ll need to be able to accurately measure melt temperatures. Equipped with accurate measurements, you’ll reduce wasted material and minimize variation from lot to lot, saving you more time and money. TenX offers a Melt Temperature Measurement Kit that helps you eliminate human error in a safe and effective way.

If you’re in need of a prototype or have any additional questions about plastic injection molding or the process, our team at TenX is here to help. Contact our shop and get started on your plastic injection molded part.

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COVID-19 Update:

In these unprecedented times, Schmit Prototypes is implementing a NO VISITOR POLICY for our OFFICE due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to welcoming our guests back to our office once things stabilize.

In the meantime, our team is committed to working with you via phone, email, and Webex to respond to quote requests, order status, and other customer service-related requests.

We are operating at normal capacity in our shop and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Our employees are practicing great protection and prevention methods. Our dock is actively receiving and shipping orders. We are here to support our customers, employees and our community.

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