It is not uncommon to hear the question "How much does a plastic injection mold cost?" As common as this question might be, it remains a difficult one to answer. This is easily comparable to the question of the cost of a smartphone or a car. There is no straightforward answer.
The cost of an injection mold is a result of many different colluding factors. Anticipated quantities, complexity, part size, and material type are all important factors affecting eventual costs. For any custom project, your plastic injection molder should provide you with a final price tag. Consider some of the variables that will go into this eventual price.
How many cavities will be making up your mold? More cavities in your mold will mean that more time and work will be put into manufacturing the mold. In turn, more cavities cost more to manufacture. However, the number of cavities you require in your mold is a result of your projected production targets. While 1,000 washers per year can be churned out with a single cavity mold, 100,000 pieces a month will only be feasible with up to 12 cavities built into the mold.
Standard molds are made of aluminum or steel. Steel molds are known to last much longer than aluminum materials, and are more expensive. In the long run, this allows you produce more parts from the mold. Aluminum, on the other hand, is more easily accessed, and boasts a better thermal heat transfer. It is also faster to manufacture, and cheaper, but is only useful in the short run.
Part complexity plays just as much a role in mold cost as does the number of cavities. Part complexity is a combination of different factors. Tolerance requirements, detailing, number of undercuts, and surface finishing all play a part in determining part complexity. And part complexity is a core part of your mold integrity.
Customization is a key part of mold fabrication. Different parts and aspects of the mold has to be customized, including the cavities, cores, cooling lines, ejectors, etc. Again, customized steel molds last longer with a much longer production life that aluminum. They also greatly impact the cost of customization, and are generally more expensive to customize.
The base of a mold holds all of the inserts, components, and mold cavities together. The size of the mold, level of customization demanded, and type of material used all combine to determine the cost of the base. For the most part, a mold base comes in standard size and is customized to meet your project requirements.
Get quality, reliable mold
If you are in need of an injection mold, you will be sure to find many different options. However, not just any plastic injection mold service provider will do. A quality mold is manufactured to industry best standards, using high-grade steel material, and utilizing only the latest technology in machining. Although it may take a little longer to build, and cost a tad more than aluminum or low-grade steel molds, it is definitely worth it – if your goal is long term production.