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Scientific molding is the best way to deliver complex, high-performance parts. It is a highly precise, data-driven process that eliminates any guesswork and maximizes quality and manufacturability. Scientific molding is especially valuable when it comes to decisions about process optimization, molding and tooling design validation, and product quality.
Medical grade polymers are quickly becoming the preferred material for a broad range of surgical devices. In certain applications, the robust mechanical properties of medical molding polymers allow complete removal of metal from the surgical device design. In other instances, plastic and metal components can combine to create an enhanced product, with attributes that would not be possible in either an all-metal or an all-plastic device.
Complex injection molding projects are, by nature, an expensive undertaking. Part development and injection mold tooling design/build often account for the majority of the budget, particularly in the case of intricate components. The consistency and quality of the part produced hinges on optimizing part development and injection mold tooling performance, as does overall project cost. Missteps can lead to expensive setbacks, product defects and quickly evaporating profits.
Shrink rates for different materials vary according to the wall thickness of the plastic part. Designing wall thicknesses that are as uniform as possible helps to control the shrink rate for a specific part or product. As a consequence, non-uniform walls can lead to large pressure drops during filling, causing significant differences in shrink rates which could result in internal stresses within the part, creating warpage or other similar defects.
Injection molds are a necessary and typically expensive part of any critical use plastic component project. Oftentimes, protecting this considerable tooling investment is overlooked until the mold breaks down or experiences another serious problem that bottoms out the bottom line. With good reason—emergency repair expenses on top of the time, productivity and product lost can be staggering.
Manufacturers of rugged electronic devices (and their end users—for example, the military) count on their “rugged” devices to perform in challenging real-life conditions, and survive being dropped. Therefore impact resistance is a critical feature in product design and starts with material selection.
In the medical industry, there’s no room for error.
Whether your medical device is used every day or only in emergency situations, it needs to function reliably when it’s called upon—every time. With medical devices and equipment becoming increasingly complex, however, that means designers and engineers need to pay even closer attention to detail to ensure there are no mistakes.
When working on an innovative medical device that could potentially save lives, it’s often crucial to get that device to market as quickly as possible. Every day you save in product development is an extra day people who need your device will have access to it. In addition, development timelines impact your company’s competitive advantage — if a competitor releases a similar device before you, they reap the rewards of being the first on the market. Lack of product development experience, overextending timeline and budget, and compliance with industry regulations are just a few reasons why medical devices and products often go over their projected timeline, but many of these issues can be avoided with the proper planning and manufacturing partnerships.
Insert molding is a type of overmolding where a hard substrate component or “insert” is placed inside a mold cavity in an injection molding machine and then “overshot” with an exterior layer—typically a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). The interaction between the insert and the TPE must be fully understood to create the strongest possible bond. The surface of the insert should also be free of contamination, including dust or even skin oil—even the slightest contamination can weaken the bond between the TPE and the substrate, leading to premature failure.