Used in all types of industries, plastics provide versatility and strength across a wide range of applications, from automotive body parts to human body parts. Each application requires a special manufacturing process that can mold the part based on specifications.
Both thermoforming and injection molding — two of the most popular manufacturing processes for crafting plastic parts — offer unique advantages depending on the particular application. While thermoforming is commonly used for large-scale designs and shorter production runs, injection molding tends to be a better choice for small, intricate parts and large production runs.
What Is Thermoforming?
Thermoforming is the process of forming a heated plastic sheet to the surface of either a male or female mold. This is a single-sided plastic fabrication process, unlike injection molding; only one side of the plastic sheet is controlled by the mold or tool. Vacuum forming and pressure forming are both popular styles of thermoforming.
Depending on a project’s needs, thermoforming can offer several distinct advantages, including:
- Lower tooling costs compared to injection molding
- Quick product development and prototyping
- Bright color and texture options
- Extreme adaptability and simple adjustments
Thermoforming is ideal for smaller production quantities (250 to 3000 parts per year).
What Is Injection Molding?
Injection molding requires a great deal of upfront engineering to develop detailed tooling or molds. Crafted from stainless steel or aluminum, split-die molds are injected with molten liquid polymers at high temperatures under extreme pressure. The molds are then cooled to release complete plastic parts.
Plastic injection molding offers several distinct advantages of its own, including:
- Detailed, highly engineered tooling with multi-cavity mold options
- Precise, efficient processing for large volumes of small parts
- Effective reduction of piece count
- Efficient material use and low scrap rates
Plastic injection molding is ideal for large-volume orders and mass production in projects requiring thousands or even millions of the same part.
Plastic Injection Molding With The Rodon Group
The Rodon Group is proud to be an industry-leading plastic injection molder. ISO 9001:2008 certified with a fully equipped, 125,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, we specialize in custom, high-volume injection molding projects.
From initial design, custom tooling, and mold building to value-added services and just-in-time shipping, our complete turnkey services ensure that you receive the highest-quality services for the best possible price.
To learn more about high-volume plastic injection molding and how it can benefit your next project, download our free eBook, “An Introduction to Plastic Injection Molding.”