Category Archive: Mold Development

What Does a Plastic Injection Mold Cost?

mold making

How much does a plastic injection mold cost? This is one of the most common questions we get, but the answer can be complicated.

It’s like asking how much a cell phone costs. Do you want a simple flip phone that only makes and receives calls? Or do you want the latest smartphone that allows you to call, text, video chat, download apps, watch TV, and so much more? Both are considered cell phones, but their functionality varies as much as their cost.

Determining Your Ideal Mold Specs

With a plastic injection mold, the cost will be determined by mold material, number of cavities, part size, complexity, and how many parts you plan to produce over the life of the mold. If you anticipate low volumes, you can probably afford to be more lenient with the quality of the mold material. You’ll also only need a few cavities (maybe even just one), which will lower the cost of creating the mold.

If you’re planning to produce millions of parts and want the cheapest price-per-part over the long run, you’ll likely want to build the tool with a larger number of cavities and from a high quality material that will run smoothly over years of production and is easy to maintain.

The number of mold cavities will have the greatest effect on price-per-part. A one-cavity mold will cost the least but have the highest part price-per-part. As the number of mold cavities increases, so does the mold cost but  the price-per-piece decrease.

Getting the Lowest Prices

If you’re looking to build a mold with the lowest up-front cost, you may be quick to choose the cheapest available option.

However, these are some things to keep in mind when considering this:

  1. Building a mold from lower quality material typically means a shorter lifespan. This is great if you only need a short production run or plan to produce low volumes. However, if demand increases and you end up needing more parts, you’ll likely need to start from scratch and build a new mold to maintain higher volumes.
  2. The upfront cost of the mold may be lower, but your part prices will be higher. If you have a long-term project, this could mean more money out-of-pocket over the life of the mold.
  3. Choosing a mold made from cheaper material will likely result in more mold maintenance and repair expenses over the life of the project… especially if the project runs longer than you originally planned.

Finding the Best Long-Term Option

When you need high volumes over many years, your best option will probably be a more costly tool. The initial investment may be higher, but the savings will show up over time as the mold continues producing consistent products for years to come.

Additionally, molds made from higher quality materials typically require less maintenance and repairs… another cost savings.

For low volume, short-term projects:

  • Construct mold from aluminum material
  • Design mold with fewer cavities
  • Choose the least expensive mold maker

For high-volume, long-term projects:

  • Construct mold from steel material
  • Design mold with more cavities to reduce price-per-part
  • Choose a high quality, U.S. mold maker

Working with a Full-Service Injection Molder

We recommend that you work with a turnkey plastic injection molder to keep your plastic injection mold cost in check. A full-service manufacturer can help you with your project from part design, through production, delivery and ongoing maintenance.

Selmax has been successfully helping clients build molds and run production for over 45 years. We have trusted mold maker partners that we work with to construct a mold that best suits your needs and budget.

You can rest assured that your project is in good hands with Selmax’s in-house dedicated machine shop, expert machinists, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining tools. We produce, maintain and repair injection molds to the highest standards in the industry. Well-maintained tooling is critical for manufacturing efficiency and final product quality.

Already have a mold? Selmax accepts, repairs, and maintains molds transferred from other mold makers or injection molders, both domestic and international, to be used for production.

Ready to start the quoting process? Get started.

Things to Consider Before Injection Molding

Injection molding is a great option for manufacturing high-quality plastic parts of different shapes, sizes, and colors. It is efficient and cost-effective, making it the most popular option in most cases. This is especially true when there are high volumes of parts to produce.

Being prepared before you reach out to an injection molder will help to expedite your project timeline. It will also prepare you for cost, time to production, and other components of the project that you may not have considered.

Do you have CAD drawings of the part you’d like to produce?

Plastic injection molders need detailed dimensional drawings that provide information about the size and complexity of the part. 3D CAD model files are the best. The injection molder will evaluate the CAD drawings and advise on the best design for manufacturability.

If you don’t have a CAD model, that’s ok. Typically, injection molders can work with you to develop it. Just plan to spend some time and project budget on developing a good manufacturable design…it will pay off in the long run.

What material is the part to be made from?

In many cases the plastic material is known. In others, it needs to be determined. An injection molder will need to know how the part is going to be used, the type of environment it will be used in, and what wear and tear it will experience over time. When they have these answers, they will be able to recommend options for resins and additives that will give you the best performance and durability for your part within the project budget.

How many parts do you plan to produce?

The injection molder will need to know how many parts you need produced and on what frequency over the life of the project. This will determine the material the injection mold should be constructed from and the number of mold cavities it must have to achieve your required production levels.

Do you need prototype parts to work out potential design issues?

Some parts are simple and straightforward. Others are more complex. Prototyping using 3D printing, for example, is an excellent way to reduce the technical risk for a new injection molding project. It is much easier, and less costly, to discover a design issue and fix it before you’ve made the sizable investment in an injection mold.

What is your budget for the project?

Plan to spend the largest portion of your budget on the injection molds. A large up-front investment is to be expected. It is designed to be recovered over the long-term manufacturing of thousands or millions of parts.

Mold costs will vary from one project to another depending on tolerances, number of cavities, and estimated production life. If you’re projecting to run millions of parts over several years, you will likely opt to spend more on a high quality mold with a high number of cavities. This will translate into lower maintenance costs and lower price-per-part over time.

On the other hand, if you have thousands of parts to run in a relatively short amount of time, you may opt for a lower quality tool with less cavities. The mold costs will be lower, but the part price will be higher. Additionally, if you extend the production life beyond what you originally planned, you can expect high maintenance and repair costs over time.

Next Steps.

If you’re ready to get started, consider working with a turn-key manufacturer. They will be able to handle every step of the process from design to distribution. This allows for better communication, shorter lead times, and a smooth process from start to finish.

For over 45 years, Selmax Corporation has been implementing our unique manufacturing model to create high quality parts for a variety of applications. We work closely with our clients to produce top-of-the-line products for their respective industries.

We pride ourselves in taking on an assortment of projects, from product design and prototyping to distribution. From small production runs to projects with annual volumes of over one million parts, we can assist nearly anyone looking for a quality injection molder.

To learn more about our services, feel free to contact us here!

If you already have everything ready to go, send us an RFQ!