Instructables
OK- Let me try this again. I was posting with specific reference to the full belley project (Peanut Sheller) but apparently there is substantial interest in plastic molds.

Injection molding comes in several different varieties,but can basically be described as forcing liquid plastic into a metal mold under high pressure. Most injection molding is done with high temperature molten plastic, and then it quickly cools inside the mold. The part is taken out of the mold, and then the process is repeated. The benefit of this technology is that thousands or millions of components can be made very quickly, and inexpensively. The downside of this technology is that the mold is usually costly. (lots of variables here- design life of mold, cycle time, etc) Usually you would use this technology to make thousands, or tens of thousands of parts- this makes the cost of the mold very small on a per part basis.

There is another technology called RIM (reaction injection molding). These molds are less costly than the other, and in this process, cool liquid plastic is injected into the mold, where it sets up chemically. (like epoxy or fiberglass, only a polymer plastic)

To begin along either one of these paths, you need to start with a product that is designed with molding in mind as the production process. There are many product details that may make a part easy or difficult to mold.

If you have a basic product concept or design, then you need someone to develop it into a full 3D CAD model. I have attached an example CAD model for you to see.

Beyond this point, the costs and direction you should take will vary widely, depending on the size and nature of your product.

Dwayne Esterline

GI Engineering Co.



>>>>>Hi-

I was browsing previous comments, and thought I would give my 2 cents.

If there is really interest or demand for significant quantities of molds, I can help with developing an injection mold and producing plastic versions of the fiberglass molds.

There are various high strength polymers available, but I bet we could produce mold sets for under $10 per set. We would have the capability of producing them in the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands. High quantities would be even less expensive.

For comparison, think of the 5 gallon plastic buckets and plastic lawn chairs available. The manufacturing process is the same, and the equipment is readily available where I live.

Any thoghts?
 
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foxconnmold16 days ago

Hi DEsterline,

Could you please let me know more details? We produce custom-developed injection mold China.

You can check our website,http://www.foxconn-precision.com/

our injection mold More Details.

If you really have the interest or demand a significant amount of mold, I can help develop the production of plastic injection molds and fiberglass mold release.

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tayv3 years ago
I just started using solidworks, and bought the SolidWorks 2011 book which covers beginner to advanced topics, and is very comprehensive. I often use the book as a reference to go through.
You can get it @ http://solidworksbook.com/
ewilhelm8 years ago
Hi DEsterline, Typically, this is the type of thing that would get removed because it has no instruction. However, it looks like there's a fair amount of interest in plastics molds. How about you use this as a place holder for publishing an Instructable on making plastic molds (maybe unpublish this one, edit it, and republish?) We're working on tools that will make this sort of conversation easier without having to post it in an Instructable.
Hi Boss, I started making my own injection molds about 25 years ago. They are made specifically to run on my injection molding machine. The process of making a mold is deceptively simple. Machining is just one aspect of this process resulting in a usable part. It is a fusion of design relating to function and cost effectiveness. Designing the mold is related to designing the part, as all parts must be designed to be manufacture-able. I may be interested in writing a series of articles relating to the topic with the novice in mind. I learned how to make a mold from a fellow mold-maker, ...referred by the manufacturer of the molding machine, followed with a thorough reading of a book entitled: 107 Injection Molds. The book looked at 107 different problems and mold design solutions. All molds are not alike, and while some are hand placed and pried open, others are just slightly less complex than a submarine. The temperatures and pressures involved are dangerous and a mold could potentially explode if not correctly designed. The question here really becomes... what part to design and instructable about? Any thoughts? Keep it small, about the size of a lighter and I might be interested in molding a few parts should anyone actually complete a mold. -Frank
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Frank, I would love to know where you are located as I have some ideas that I could use some help with.

Cat
garycat@rogers.com
Hi Cat,

I'm just south of Tumwater Washington USA.

Looking forward to your project.

Frank
DEsterline (author)  ewilhelm8 years ago
Sorry if I misused the instructables forum. This was my first post, and am unsure of what content is acceptable. Yes, I would be glad to publish an instructable on making plastic molds. Dwayne Esterline
chaiken5 years ago
As you can see if you look up my "bite-valve hydration system" posting, I have a long-term interest in learning injection molding. I'm sure I can make molds myself, as I have access to a machine shop, but I guess that my design will have to go through several iterations, as I have only made my part on the lathe so far. I have access to 3D CAD, but could use a pointer to a "how to design simple injection-molded parts." Also, I'd like to either find an injection molding company here in the SF Bay Area of California, or find a vendor who will allow me to try several small runs of a design once given a deposit on a larger order. Do you have any advice in this regard? TIA.
Charlie11386 years ago
In the example for the plastic molding process that didn't require high pressure molds, the only items listed are soft plastic products. Is it possible to make products with a more rigid harder plastic as well? Like the material keyboards are made or mouses, monitors, laptops etc?
DEsterline (author)  Charlie11386 years ago
Yes, there are a variety of resisns available that set up hard, like ABS.
bowlman7 years ago
How about a simple 3-4 part assembly instructable?
I am very interested in making molds, please contact me if you are still interested in helping.
DEsterline (author)  chrissis11117 years ago
Sure, you can contact me at desterline@giengineeringco.com. I would be glad to give any help I can. Dwayne Esterline
winwintoo8 years ago
I'm interested. I have a project that I didn't know how to get moving. More information welcome.
DEsterline (author)  winwintoo8 years ago
What type of project are you considering? -Dwayne
radiorental8 years ago
if you could help the full belly project out that would be awesome
http://www.instructables.com/id/ERSV3ZTAA8EP287HYR/
p.eace
DEsterline (author)  radiorental8 years ago
Yes, I would be glad to help. To develop a set of injection molds for any project, you need to start with a good set of product drawings. Have you developed any drawings?
Crash21088 years ago
There really needs to be forums here..
trebuchet038 years ago
YES YES and YES! I have been searching for a cheaper alternative to the two part silicone mold material... If you can provide just information, that would be phenomenal :D hehe, I even tried using a batch of urethane clear coat... I tried adding very little hardener and then letting it gell... bad results (but a cool video :P).
uchujin8 years ago
Definately would like to know more. I usually use polymorph, but it melts at 62 degrees, so not entirely reliable
Liganic8 years ago
Any Pictures how they would look like? Or some sort of portfolio?