Prototype and Production Reaction Injection Mold Tooling
Often Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) is thought of as “Low Volume Tooling”. This is subjective to the annual volume of parts required and the material used to create the mold. RIM Tooling can provide as few as a handful of parts up to millions of plastic parts.
Differences in Prototype and Production Tooling
The words “prototype” and “production” are very subjective. Some manufactures count prototype plastic parts in the thousands till their high production tool is ready. In this case RIM Tooling would bridge the gap to production.
Since the words “prototype” and “production” are so subjective, here are a few examples.
EPW can build cast epoxy RIM molds. These molds generally are used to prove out designs for fit and function.
Aluminum Tooling is also used for prototype and production tooling. We work with Aluminum everyday to create thousands of Reaction Injection Molded plastic parts. RIM is not very resource intensive and does not wear a tool substantially.
Our affiliate Phoenix Proto specializes in 1,000,000 parts of unfilled resins from Aluminum Tooling. They offer no design limitations on top of 3 weeks or less plastic parts.
For higher volume product part requirements we would create a mold from P20 steel, Nickle or other suitable materials depending upon the design specifications.
We have worked with many OEM’s within the automotive field that have previously used all RIM Tooling to create components in their vehicles. Because these are highly aesthetic parts the RIM process provided the necessary quality requirements. RIM Tooling can easily create Class A surface finishes along with intricate designs.
Initial Prototype Material
The choice of mold material is important in the beginning of any project. If a design just needs to be proved out we will go with a epoxy mold to reduce customer costs. If the design proves out we can then take the finalized designs and create a mold out of Aluminum, P20 Steel or Nickle.
RIM Production Design Materials
Aluminum, P20 Steel or Nickle all are great mold materials for prototype to production quantities. Each has inherent properties that should be looked at when going over design considerations and resin selection.