How Much Does Injection Molding Cost?

How Much Does Injection Molding Cost

Non-experts in injection molding would tell you that CNC machining and 3D prototyping is more cost-efficient. Well, that is quite true, upfront.

What they do not know, however, is that injection modeling is way less costly when it comes to scaling, manufacture, and mass production in the long run.

In this post, we shed light to the approximate cost of injection molding.

Knowing how an injection molding cost helps you in strategizing your operations if you are already using it in your manufacture or to make the change if you are thinking of switching to injection molding for your production.

Types of Costs in Injection Molding

For you to have a holistic view of what accounts for the total cost of injection molding, you need to know the type of costs in injection molding. Here are the most important injection molding costs which you must know of.

Equipment Costs:

Equipment Costs

The first thing to consider is equipment costs. The computation for this relies on the type, size, and function of the equipment.

For instance, a compact or desktop injection molding equipment may have an operations cost ranging from $5,000-10,000.

Bigger or mid-tier to large injection molding equipment on the other hand, have an equipment cost ranging from $50-000 – 100,000. Larger injection molding equipment costs up to $200,000.

Mold Costs (Tooling Costs):

Tooling costs greatly depend on the size of the parts and the intricacy of the geometries incorporated. Other than this, EDM, CNC machining and 3D printing are also a part of the tooling cost.

Thus, at an average, injection molding tooling may range from $10,000 – 100, 000.

Mid-level orders consisting of at least 1,500 small parts can cost you at least $10,000 in tooling while customized and complex geometries can go for up to $100,000 in tooling costs.

If you want to cut cost in tooling, it is recommended that you use small injection molding machines especially for small to medium orders.

Injected Material Cost:

The costs for the injected material depending on the type of materials themselves. This is quite the make or break for the entire computation since it depends on the quantity of the order.

The most common materials are plastics and thermoplastics. Thermoplastic pellets on one hand costs $1-10 per kilogram depending on the grade. Higher-end plastics cost $7-20 per kilogram.

Nonetheless, the final costing for the injected material depends on the final design of the injection mold, the material to be injected and the final choice of finish of the product.

Labor or Service Costs:

Labor or Service Costs

One thing to know about injection molding is that it is done automatedly. Nonetheless, for each stage, from start-up, to running, to cooling and removal, operations costs run up too.

Since it is automated, you might think that labor or service costs are no longer computed.

The following must be considered if you are wondering as to the labor or service costs when it comes to injection molding:

  • Set-up costs
  • Repairs
  • Monitoring and servicing

Given these, the average range for labor or service cost depends on the quantity of orders, the frequency of running, and the materials used for the injection mold.

Injection Molding Cost Overview

It is one thing that you know the type of costs that are covered in injection molding. But to have a more comprehensive view of the cost of injection molding, including how to reduce it and other handy information, here is an injection molding cost overview for your reference.

Variables That Impact the Injection Mold Cost

As has been laid down, we can only lay down the average cost range of injection molding because it depends on various factors. To narrow them down, here are the most common variables which impact the cost of injection mold.

Tooling Prices:

Yes, we have already covered this beforehand. But you must know that this is pricey. Some of the variables which really spike up tooling prices are hinges, inserts, textures, and details.

Aside from this, the cost of having to use CNC, EDM, and 3D printers to aid injection molding for some projects also add up to the cost.

Part Size:

Part Size

One of the more observable determinants of cost would be the size of the parts. Of course, the larger the part size, the more sizable the cost too. Part size is also significant in costing especially for projects which include large, small, and custom molds.

Parts Design:

As mentioned, the more detailed the design and the more geometrical it is, the pricier it gets. Custom injection molds take time and a lot of effort and consultation to be finalized.

The running and operations to manufacture detailed and custom injection molds make it all the pricier. Remember that molds always have two sides and it is the underside which really has those geometries and recesses.

Volume of Production:

The volume of production also dramatically raises the price of injection molding because in this phase, the different materials needed and the details are now all pressed. The larger the product bulk and the larger and more detailed the product bulk, the pricier the injection mold.

Cavities:

Cavities

Generally, the cavity is that hollow or empty part of the injection mold or cast. The volume of the cavity in the mold means more pressing time.

As such, it adds to the price of the injection mold because interventions are incorporated in the machines to lessen pressing time for the cavities.

Injection Molding Cost Calculators

The good thing about computing for injection molding cost is that you can do them through online calculators.

If you want to know some of the best injection molding cost calculations online, with a full breakdown free quotation, here are the ones to check out:

How Much Do Injection Molding Near Me Cost?

As what is already covered in this post, there is no exact range for injection molding cost. Most if not all injection molding near you would compare their cost with Chinese and American injection molding companies.

Thus, if you are eyeing more cost-effective injection molding manufacturing, expect that Chinese companies would offer 35-50% less in cost compared to US injection molding companies.

Chinese manufactured injection molding starts at a range of $3500-6000 for small projects.

Regardless, you must still understand that the variables cited, affecting the cost of injection molding, are of much consideration no matter where you get the injection molding.

In-Store Injection Molding Companies VS. Online Injection Molding Companies

There is no steady answer to this because there are various points to consider. In this section, an overview of the strengths and drawbacks of ordering from in-store injection molding companies and online injection molding companies are laid down.

Design Assistance and Manufacturing Process:

Design Assistance and Manufacturing Process

If you are a start-up company, you need more expert heads to come up with a reliable design. Hence, for this matter, an online injection molding is the better choice because of the diversity of designs.

As to the manufacturing process, in-store injection molding companies can be more dependable. This is so since you have a physical store to check the phases of the manufacturing process. 

Quality Control:

Your house, your rule. Hence, you have a better rein on quality control and the pacing of the project if it is in-store. The internal quality control of in-store companies never misses.

The lack of personal control on the quality of online injection model companies may cost you more afterwards.

Lead Time and Material Delays:

This is connected with the manufacturing process and quality control. Time and again, you can be more at ease with in-store injection molding companies. You can visit anytime, demand as you deem fit, and have the designs modified at your own pace.

Miscellaneous Costs:

Miscellaneous Costs

Note that online injection molding companies are shipped from somewhere or shall be freighted locally. If you are tight on budget and cannot spend more than the cut, just go for an in-store injection molding company.

Reducing Injection Molding Costs

If you are all for reducing injection molding costs, here are the tips which you should go for to reduce injection molding costs. Here are 11 injection molding design considerations to stretch your manufacturing dollar.

Reduce Cost

Eliminate Undercuts:

The first thing which you can do is to simplify tooling designs. Limiting the complexity of molds shall lessen the costs because press time is lessened, tooling and equipment as well as labor costs are also lessened.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Features:

Anent the first tip, it is best that you just focus on the basic yet necessary features of your injection mold design. If some of the features do not necessarily add market value, then it is best to just forego it.

Use a Core Cavity Approach:

The core cavity approach has always been cost-efficient. In this process, the cavities are pressed down to the mold. Through this, surface finishes are smoothened and improves angles.

Reduce Cosmetic Finishes and Appearances:

Shiny and glossy finishes are beautiful but they require a lot of tooling and handwork, hence, spiked up prices. If the finish and appearance are not that necessary or do not add up to the product value, then just dispense them altogether to reduce cost.

Design Self-mating Parts:

Snap together parts are inevitable especially for more complex projects. Of course, this requires more operations cost.

Luckily, you can now create universal parts where you can design parts that would fit in any direction. With just one mold that can fit everything, you can lessen production costs in injection molding.

Modify and Reuse Molds:

Modify and Reuse Molds

Instead of buying a new injection mold, why not design a mold which can be used multiple times. If there are excess molds from small parts, you can remold and reuse them for the same parts or re-machine such parts for other projects.

Pay Attention to DFM Analysis:

When you get a quote, a DFM analysis is also given. Such analysis already identifies the nonmachinable parts, the draft angles, and other future problems due to the design.

By considering the DFM analysis and employing the suggestions, you can lessen the design costs and future manufacturing costs.

Use a Multi-cavity or Family Mold:

If you have a bulk project, it is best that you categorize molds with the same sizes, cavities, and designs. By joining them in the same hinge, you can make lead time faster using multi-cavity or family molds.

Aside from the faster lead time, you are also reducing operations cost because you are making more products without buying another one.

Choose on-demand Production Option:

If you have already invested in in-demand small and large parts, it is best to consider on-demand production option. This allows you to control volatility of product demand and to equalize tooling costs.

Consider Part Size:

Consider Part Size

It is always best to invest on high demand small and large sizes if you have already established a product pattern from your stable clients. List down the minimum and maximum part sizes so that you can have them made before getting bulk orders.

    Use Overmolding:

    The process of insert or overmolding basically involves placing the product in the injection mold and then further molding it in plastic. As such, you can both reuse the material and the mold itself for new mold products.

    Having molds to reuse for other projects highly decreases operations cost. Aside from this, high-end injection molding companies would really recommend overmolding as a cost-effective approach to injection molding.

    Note however, that this is not an exclusive list. There are other variables to consider and tips to employ in reducing the injection mold list. It is a good time to check other techniques that would reduce injection mold.

    Get Started With Kemal Injection Molding

    Get Started With Kemal Injection Molding

    With all the things that we have covered here, you might be wondering about some of the best injection molding companies out there.

    If you need injection mold calculations, quotations, or other information about injection molding, you can check out the injection molding products and services of Kemal Manufacturing.

    References:

    https://jayconsystems.com/blog/2022/4/7/how-much-does-plastic-injection-molding-cost
    https://www.protolabs.com/resources/design-tips/11-tips-to-reduce-injection-molding-costs/
    https://icomold.com/much-injection-molding-cost/
    https://makenica.com/in-house-and-outsourcing-in-injection-molding/
    https://www.protolabs.com/resources/design-tips/11-tips-to-reduce-injection-molding-costs/
    https://www.hubs.com/knowledge-base/how-much-does-injection-molding-cost/
    https://waykenrm.com/blogs/injection-molds-cost-in-plastic-prototyping/

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