This is probably the question I get asked the most – it’s often the most important consideration for a customer / potential customer on a new idea or project but it’s also the most difficult to explain and offer a valid opinion / cost on without investigation.
Making a Plastic Injection Mould Tool
There are a number of different variables to take into consideration which have an effect on the price of a plastic injection moulding tool:
1 – Tool steel – whether the tool needs to be made fully hard, made from P20 or made from aluminium. Generally fully hardened is suggested when the tool needs a long life ( 10 Years Plus ) or the Raw Material to be moulded is abrasive and wearing. P20 when the tool life is not as long and the material softer with no wearing properties. Aluminium is used for short run tooling where are few hundred mouldings shots are required only.
2- Obviously the size of the tool and component (s) will affect price – the bigger the tool the more steel is needed and therefore the price is higher
3 – The number of impressions in the tool will also affect price – clearly a single impression tool ( making one component at a time ) will be cheaper than a multi cavity tool where 2, 4, 6 components are made at the same time
4 – The complexity of the actual component will be the single biggest influence on price – clearly a very simple open and shut tool will be a lot cheaper than a detailed, complex design
One option that we have found to be very popular and works well for smaller parts is we have a uni-bolster which is basically a shell of a tool – customers then pay for inserts only to fit into our uni-bolster – saves approximately 40% on the cost of a full tool.
All of our tools are made in the UK. We use 3 different toolmakers, all long established within the industry, all of whom we have worked with for many years and have good working relationships with. We have no tools made in China.
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If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on What is a plastic injection moulding machine?