Plastic Injection Molding Machine

Do we have one of these? I need assistance prototyping a small part. Will need to machine a simple aluminum mold from an existing master, and rudimentary assistance on mold injection.

Thank you in advance,

Liz Becker
Ormolu Atelier LLC
214-985-7184

We do not currently have any injection molding machines.

Hi TBJK - Is there a reason we do not have one? As in, is it too dangerous, obsolete, etc? Could the committee look into getting one? I think it would be a great addition in conjunction with 3D printing and fabrication.

Liz

Not really a safety issue much at all. With injection molding it’s a bit more costly/time consuming to get set up. For your average maker, it’s not worth it. If you needed to churn out a bunch of the same plastic parts then it might be. 3D printing works for most everyone. It’s just not that practical.

I’m not against having one, in fact I’d kinda like to see us have one.

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We have looked into a desktop manual machine, the molds really could only be made on the HAAS cnc on machine shop, its a high barrier to entry for most members.

Usually I go with:
Qty 10 - 3D print
Qty 100 - 3D print or silicon mold and resin cast
Qty 1000 - injection mold it in China
Qty 100,000+ - buy a machine and mold

@David_A_Tucker has probably looked into it for production and has advice.

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I vaguely heard that there’s a pseudostep somewhere in-between 100 and 1,000. Machine a metal part and use it to make many repeatably-accurate silicone molds.

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I think it would be a good addition. Will you be at the space Monday afternoon?

I should be around tomorrow afternoon. It usually depends on how things are going at work.

Okay. Great. I’ll drop in for a chat about injection molding, then. About 3:00?

Liz
214-985-7184

I wont be around until probably 4:30-5, Of course that depends on the riggers I’m supervising tomorrow.

Looks like you can use silicone for injection molding.

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Hi M - Whereas this video is both inspirational and informative… I could really use some extremely rudimentary assistance. ahem. Are you available today for consultation? I have a basic part that I would like to mill an aluminum mold and use a tabletop injection molding system to reproduce said parts. :wink:

Liz
214-985-7184

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Hey Mitch. I’m kind of needing this machine yesterday. I called the manufacturer and they have a waiting list which I got on right away. They said they would have it ready probably later this week. Is this something we could maybe consider ahead of the next board meeting? I have investigated several other models, and this one appears to have the best working properties for the money. At a lower price point, we are losing crucial features, such as the programmable controller and the pneumatic compression. Other industrial models incorporating these features start in the thousands and have a lot of bells and whistles that are really not that necessary for a small shop application. I think this would make a great addition to the current processes that are being provided by the Makerspace, and might be a worthwhile investment to consider.

Liz

Liz, how complex is the part you are wanting to produce? How tight are the tolerances? What quantity are you needing?

I don’t think there’s sufficient demand here for a machine that can only produce parts that are tiny.

What’s the maximum part size of the machine you want DMS to buy for you?

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Roughly the size of my membership dues retroactive almost a decade. That’s what size, David.

That doesn’t entitle you to demand we buy a specific specialized tool you need for a business venture though.

It’s the same reason we don’t have a pick and place machine. (we had one and no one used it)

But also. $4200 (being generous in the dues math) doesn’t buy you an injection molding machine

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Lol. What a wonderful way to advocate for a new piece of equipment.

For a real answer, the LNS Model 150A has a shot size of ~1 cu in. That includes the part, sprue, and runners, so the actual part size is smaller than that. I had a 150A at a previous space, we had a very steep learning curve just to get the sample mold (‘frog lure’) to come out well. In 3 years and hundreds of projects no one ever had a project that we felt justified the effort again, so we never made any new molds. 4/10, good leaning experience, not very practical, high barrier to entry.

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I visited quite a few Techshops that invested in them and they all told me it was very rare for someone to use it.