Cost-effective injection moulding
Injection moulding requires expensive tooling - the cost of which must be spread across large production volumes.
Philmac, a South Australian plastic fittings manufacturer, is experiencing increasing demand for low volume, customised products, for which the cost of injection moulding is currently prohibitive.
This project has investigated the feasibility of 3D-printed injection moulds as a cost effective alternative to conventional machined tooling. The injection mould for a sample component - a float valve housing - has been designed to utilise the capabilities of 3D printing, including conformal cooling and a honeycomb lattice structure. This design has followed extensive research and analysis using mould flow and finite element analysis (FEA) software.
It is intended for this injection mould to be 3D-printed from stainless steel, then tested within one of Philmac’s injection moulding machines, assessing the performance of this tooling and providing the company with a cost-benefit analysis of this growing technology.