Tolerances as tight as +/- .001 inches are required for many high-performance, complex plastic parts and products. Learn more about how injection molding achieves these remarkable tolerances in our guide, Tight Tolerance is Critical for Top Quality and Superior PerformanceIn it you'll learn how:

  • Tight tolerance molding reduces or eliminates secondary operations, like machining
  • Tight tolerance molding is essential for controlling shrink and warp, and how moldflow analysis can predict these
  • Thermal expansion rates in plastics can be controlled using fillers
  • Tool design, tool material and cavitation all impact tolerance

Sneak Peek Insight the Guide:

“Tight tolerance” is a term that is often tossed around loosely in the industry—however, if tight tolerance is not done correctly, parts and products will underperform or possibly fail, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and a tooling and/or process overhaul. Other tight-tolerance benefits may include the elimination of secondary operations like machining, making it easier to procure mating parts, and allowing the possible conversion of metal parts to plastic—all of which help reduce costs.

In general, a typical tight tolerance for injection molding is +/-.002 inches. A very tight tolerance is +/-.001 inches. Major factors that impact tight tolerance include part design and complexity, material selection, tooling, and process design and control.

Designing the part is the single biggest factor in controlling tight tolerances. Making improvements during the design phase will not only achieve repeatable tight tolerances, but also improve manufacturability, quality, and customer satisfaction, all while reducing costs.

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