When you have been in the injection molding trade as long as I have, it sometimes gets a little stagnant as far as building and running molds.
“I like having to build an injection mold that no one else wants to attempt.”
The thing I thrive on the most in the injection molding trade is when I get a print or a solid model of a part that was either not designed for injection molding or just is outright impossible to make in one piece. When that situation arises, I just study the print or model and keep saying to myself, “It can be done and nothing is impossible.” I have had parts that have been laughed at in regards of injection molding them especially by material tech people. Usually the tech people go by the book; either they say the part is too thick, won’t fill, to thin or just impossible to produce. If I had listened or went by the book on numerous parts I have made or developed, I probably would not still be in business. I have always gone after the challenges and have always succeeded. There have been times when some part designs needed to be changed, but for the most part, the original designs were left alone.
I had one instance where a part that needed to be injection molded looked impossible and I told the customer I would give it my best shot but there was a good chance it could not be done. Through numerous mold trials and redesigning the mold a few times, we succeeded in producing the part. I did not give up although it would have been very easy to and move on to other projects. One drawback in this situation is money becomes a major factor. Normally, when I quote a part, it is guaranteed to come out and be an acceptable part, but on occasions as the one as I just mentioned, there is no guarantee that the part can be produced by the process of injection molding. If this is the case, it must be communicated to the customer what the risks are.
On the part I mentioned above, after we were able to injection mold the part we still needed to find a material that would hold up to the demands of the customer’s requirements. In the process of searching for a material, I had a meeting with a well-known compounder. During this meeting, I had some parts that I had molded to show everyone at the meeting. The compounder looked at me and said if I just had a print of the part they would have walked out and said the part could not be injection molded. This proves my point of this blog. Do not give up until everything has been done to produce the part. As I said in the past, theory is a great starting point but is not always the way to base your decisions on.