Aug 23, 2018

Injection Molding Companies – The Best Companies On The Market

So you’ve enjoyed the rapid prototyping and low trial costs with 3D Printing and are now ready to go into production with the final design. To help with this process we are going to look at some of the best injection molding companies and compare our experience with them.

Evaluation & Criteria

3D printing is a tremendous tool for rapid prototyping, but once you’re ready to move on to larger-scale production of your part or product, injection molding is usually a much more efficient option.

Unless you’re an established manufacturer, chances are you don’t have an injection molding machine at your disposal. However, there are a plethora of manufacturing service providers that will handle the dirty work for you. It can be difficult deciding which manufacturing service is best-suited for your injection molding needs.

To help give you an idea of what to expect, we decided to conduct a little experiment. We took four of the most popular manufacturing services and requested a quote to produce a part via injection molding. This comparison includes speed to receive the quote, ability to alter the quote, support with the design and delivery.

To complete this review, each injection molding company was contacted online on a Monday and the same object (above) made from Polypropylene was uploaded. Their response to this request forms the basis of this review.

The injection molding companies reviewed were found online and stated that they all completed online quoting in injection molding dies and parts and can deliver internationally.

NOTE: The final molded price is to be used as a guide only as it is difficult online to get equivalent Polypropylene materials for each supplier

ICOMoulds

ICOMould is a USA based company that utilizes the lower cost base of manufacturing their molds in China.   They target low-cost, quality injection molded parts with the capability to deliver worldwide.   They also have CNC and rapid prototyping capabilities. Their quoting process was the only one to offer true instant quoting and was flexible in changing parameters. The best site for getting an immediate cost for injection molding.

Our Experience

  • Website: Simple and easy to navigate with lots of educational resources
  • Ease of entering information for the quote: Very easy
  • Timing to receive quote: Instant as soon as data is entered
  • Quality of the quote: Very intuitive to change material, mold cavities, run length, colors
  • Design Feedback: No
  • Cost of Mould: Average
  • Cost of Parts: Lowest
  • Company Follow-up: Immediate e-mail asking if further information was needed, I requested material specification sheets which were immediately supplied
  • Other: 15-day standard manufacturing with 5 samples, ISO accreditation

Star Rapid

Star Rapid is based in China and provides multiple services including metal 3D printing and multi-axis CNC machining alongside their injection molding business.   Their quoting process was based around e-mail information exchange which took longer than the others but ultimately provided the lowest mold cost.    Phone calls from their sales team indicated a genuine desire to work with your from prototyping through to large volume multi-cavity molds.

Our Experience

  • Website: Simple clean layout showing services and resources
  • Ease of entering information for the quote: Low level of automation and had to answer several follow-up e-mails
  • Timing to receive the quote: 7 Business Days
  • Quality of the quote: Detailed the type of mold, part costs
  • Design Feedback: Quote provided basic mold design layout and concerns
  • Cost of Mould: Lowest
  • Cost of Parts: Average
  • Company Follow-up: Followup was to get quote information, and a phone call a week later to see if there were any questions I had
  • Other: Required a lot of time to receive the quote, ISO 9000, ISO14001, BS OHSAS 18001 Certified

Protolabs

Protolabs are based in the USA and have additional facilities across Europe and Japan.   Their capability extends to rapidly manufacturing CNC, 3D Printed and Injection Molded parts.   Their injection molding offering includes a wide variety of materials from plastic or silicon to overmolding and insert molding.     Protolab’s online quoting system provides an outstanding review of the component ability to be injection molded through 3D modeling.    The quoting system allows for mold configuration, run length and material to be changed, giving real-time costs.

Our Experience

  • Website: Simple and easy to navigate with lots of educational resources
  • Ease of entering information for the quote: Easy and was lengthened with questions about export and military use of parts
  • Timing to receive the quote: One business day
  • Design Feedback: Very detailed modeling of the part and recommendations to improve molding
  • Cost of Mould: Highest
  • Cost of Parts: Highest
  • Company Follow-up: Immediate e-mail asking if further information was needed
  • Other: 15-day standard manufacturing with 25 samples, ISO900 and TAR certified

3D Hubs

3D Hubs presents its self as a service to connect your design to suppliers located all over the world to get the lowest competitive price.    Their service capability is across 3D printing, CNC machining, and Injection Molding.   The online quoting process is the simplest of those review with simply loading the design and some simple contact details allowing live quoting.    The concern was the time for the final quote to be supplied and the significant increase in cost from the online cots.

Our Experience

  • Website: Simple focus on a network of manufacturers and limited educational material
  • Ease of entering information for the quote: Very easy with the least amount of questions
  • Timing to receive the quote: Instant as soon as data is entered, final quote in 7 days
  • Quality of the quote: Online: NOTE the final quote was emailed in 7 business days and was 30%  higher than the online quote
  • Design Feedback: Follow up Email with some design questions, not automated
  • Cost of Mould: Average
  • Cost of Parts: Average
  • Company Follow-up: Immediate e-mail asking if further information was needed
  • Other: 2-8 weeks lead time, unsure of Quality accreditation as the final manufacturer is not known

Conclusion

Hopefully, this review has given you some key areas to focus on when you consider what you need when ordering injection molding services online.   Maybe you are just after an instant quote to get an idea of the cost, or after a detailed design analysis for your parts. Don’t forget to also look at the longer term goals as partnering with a supplier you can easily communicate with and offer the support you need will make the process simpler.

License: The text of "Injection Molding Companies – The Best Companies On The Market" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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