The Evolution of Moldmaking
As we've progressed from revolutionary inventions such as the light bulb on to the telecommunications age of the radio, phones, and televisions, the methods of manufacturing and product design have evolved as well. Computers, the internet, sustainable power, and everything that comes next is the driving force behind the advances in modern moldmaking in manufacturing. To understand where we are going, however, we must look at how we got here.
What Is Moldmaking?
Moldmaking is a process of making injection molds that are used to produce precision plastic parts. As one of the most significant production investments, it is critical that the molds are made with a great deal of accuracy. Modern moldmaking requires extreme precision to ensure that parts can be mass-produced with repeatable accuracy.
This perfection is also required in the creation of the tools used to manufacture, hold, or test products during production. Quality precision molds are built to last and represent an essential investment for any company. Variables that can impact the cost of the plastic injection mold include:
Learn more about these critical factors by downloading our eBook "How to Manufacturer a Perfect Plastic Part.
What Has Changed?
Plastic injection molding first gained prominence during the 18th and 19th centuries. With the Industrial Revolution at its peak, toolmakers had to do most everything by hand. Forming tools, heat treating, sharpening, machining metal, and drilling out the design by hand required a significant time commitment. Due to the uniqueness of anything made by human hands, conformity problems often arose, and no two molds were precisely the same.
Now, Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) milling machines offer so many kinds of tools for cutting that the simple term and concept of “moldmaking” no longer covers the full gamut of the current capabilities. Today’s technology enables the fabrication of items with much more accuracy and range than ever before. The process is more precise than manual machining, and can be repeated in exactly the same manner over and over again. Because of the precision possible with CNC Machining, this process can produce complex shapes that would be almost impossible to achieve with manual machining. For example, The Rodon Group can create complex geometries with many variations of wall thickness up to a maximum part size of 10 square inches.
The use of CNC machines not only speeds up the process but also offers a wide degree of flexibility. Computers can often be programmed to work overnight, providing around-the-clock production. Using computer-generated inputs, CNC machines are able to deliver precision, accuracy, and levels of consistency that manual machining could never before offer.