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At Plastimold, we strive to deliver amazing results with top notch communication. If you’re not familiar with the industry lingo, take a look below at the most common terms used here at Plastimold – you’ll be talking like an expert in no time.
Part: Refers to customer’s custom plastic part to be made.
Tooling: Refers to the injection mold that is created to make plastic parts in the molding process
Shrink Rate: Refers to how much the plastic material will shrink after cooled. This % of shrink is added to the part before the mold is designed. Every plastic material has its own shrink rate ranging from .001 per inch to as much as .060 per inch, although most fall in between .004 and .021. It is important when selecting a range of plastic materials that you may want to test before building the injection mold. For example if you wanted to use ABS which is .006 per inch and Nylon which is .015 per inch you may want to build the injection mold to .010 or leave critical dimensions stock safe until a final material is selected.
Gate: Referring to where the plastic enters into the cavity of the mold. Types of gates include; sub, edge, fan, cashew and XME exclusive vestige free edge for perfect shear
Vestige: Material or witness of material protruding from gate area after gate runner has been removed from the injection molded part. This vestige is usually trimmed by the molding machine operator.
Shear: referred to when plastic enters into the mold and the melt is maintained by friction produced by speed and pressure. Too much shear can cause the plastic material to burn, too little can cause the material to freeze off causing short shot.
Runner: A channel cut into custom injection molds, in which plastic travels from the injection molding machine, through the sprue, through the runner and then through the gate ultimately filling the part.
Short Shot: Is the result of a plastic part not filling completely, including some or all of the details.
Sprue: Is perpendicular to the runner and is the channel that links the injection molding machine nozzle to the runner.
Hand Pull: Portion of the custom injection mold that is used for creating undercuts in plastic parts.
Slide: Portion of Custom plastic injection molds that is used for creating undercuts. Required for automatic injection molds.
Gibbs: Portion of the custom injection mold that holds the slide down so the cam can actuate it.
CAM/Horn Pin: The cam commonly referred to as Horn pin is used to actuate the slide on an automatic injection mold.
Ejector Pins: Ejector Pins are used to push the part of the core half of the injection molds.
Undercuts: Referring to the portion of the designed component where a slide or hand pull is required to create holes, windows or clips that are not in the line of draw.
Core: Refers to side of the tool where the plastic part will stick to and is ejected from, also known as bottom half of the tool.
Cavity: Refers to the upper half of the injection mold usually the show surface of the finished product but is mainly concave. There is not as much standing core outs on this side of the tool. Therefore the part will generally not stick to it when the injection molding machine opens the mold.
Core Outs: Refers to the portion of a part that is gutted out in order to achieve uniform wall thickness. This portion of the part has no end use function other than lightening the part and reducing warp.
Line of draw: Line of draw is the direction in which the two custom injection mold halves will separate from the plastic part allowing it to be ejected without any obstructions from metal creating undercuts.
Side Action: Is the term used for slides and/or hand pulls used in the injection mold build process. If your design requires side action it will require a slide or hand pull to make the plastic part in order to run in the molding process.
SLA (Stereo Lithography Apparatus): Using 3D printing technologies such as laser sintering and electron beam melting, “rapid prototyping” evolved into “rapid molding,” in which short run prototypes of actual finished molding components are made.
SLS (Selective Laser Sintering): Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal (direct metal laser sintering), ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired 3-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed.
PolyJet: PolyJet machines fully cure each layer of fine UV photopolymer and support materials as eight jetting heads precisely deposit the product. Support material is easily separated from the part by either a water jet or hand and brush. No special baths or extra finishing treatments are needed. Finished PolyJet parts can readily absorb paint and can also be machined, drilled, chrome-plated or used as molds.
DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering): Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS®) is an additive manufacturing technology that produces metal prototype and production parts in a matter of hours. DMLS utilizes a variety of metal and alloy materials to create strong durable parts from 3D CAD data without the need of tooling. Metal parts built with this technology have the design versatility of layer additive manufacturing while possessing the mechanical properties and appearance of metal materials.
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling): Using 3 dimensional printing technology where prototypes are made by fusing layers of actual ABS plastic together. Much like an inkjet printer except it lays Plastic instead of ink.
EDM (Electric discharge machining): Sometimes colloquially also referred to as spark machining, spark eroding, burning, die sinking or wire erosion, is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained using electrical discharges (sparks). Material is removed from the workpiece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltage. One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the ‘tool’ or ‘electrode’, while the other is called the workpiece-electrode, or ‘workpiece’.
Operator: A person used to run a plastic injection molding machine. Mold may be a manual tool or product may require stacking so they do not fall on each other when ejected from the injection molding machine.
Wall Thickness: This refers to how thick the cross section of the plastic part is.
Thin Wall Molding: Thin wall molding is the molding of plastic parts with wall thicknesses .005 to .060 thick.
Boss: This refers to round protrusions on plastic parts and molds.
Ribs: Refers to thin bladed features on a part that are used for strengthening wall sections and bosses. Also, used to minimize warp.
Sink Marks: Refers to areas of the molded part where it seems to be sunk in, due to un-uniformed wall sections, thick wall sections and rib/boss to thickness ratios being off.
Warp: Refers to area of a injection molded part that distorts during cooling or molding, causing undesired results in the finished product. Usually caused by non-uniform wall sections.
Draft: Refers to portion of injection molding part that has some sort of taper to it. Generally all plastic components should be designed with draft where possible. See design guidelines for tips.
Heel: Refers to the portion of an automatic custom injection mold that keeps the slide in the forward position when the molding machine is closed on the mold.
Stock Safe: Refers to the amount of metal left on the mold in order to tweak in a dimension. For example, if you have an inside diameter that is supposed to be .500 you may leave the mold at .505 in case you get excessive shrink. It is cheaper to remove metal than it is to add it.
Bulk Pack: Refers to shipping plastic parts in a box without any form of stacking. At the injection molding machine Parts will be dumped in a box and shipped.
Reverse Engineering: Refers to the process of taking an existing plastic part and creating a 3D solid model for duplicating in the injection molding process. Sometimes the design may include some custom changes from the OEM.
Single/Multiple Cavity: Refers to an injection mold making one part at a time, or multiple parts at a time.
Stack Molds: Refers to having a number of cavities in two levels, back to back, which requires only a little more clamping force than a one-level mold for half that number of cavities would require.
Family Mold: Refers to injecting the same or multiple quantities of a number of different shapes and sizes of the same plastic and color.
Injection Blow Mold: In the IBM process, the polymer is injection molded onto a core pin; then the core pin is rotated to a blow molding station to be inflated and cooled. This is the least-used of the three blow molding processes, and is typically used to make small medical and single serve bottles. The process is divided into three steps: injection, blowing and ejection