Toolsets for Injection plastic mold provide a modular approach to tool design and manufacture. The actual mold cavity remains a custom piece, but the rest of the tool is built from already manufactured mold components. This approach is made possible through the use of master mold frames.
A master mold frame is a design in which runners and gates are machined into standardized inserts that fit within a standard frame. Other components incorporated into the standardized mold frames include leader pins, bushings, sprue bushing, support pillars, side actions, and the ejector system. These do not need re-machined for each new toolset. At the heart of the frame, there’s a toolset that contains the actual mold cavity. This toolset is the only piece of the mold required to be designed and machined to produce a particular part.
Advantages of Injection Mold Toolsets
There are three main reasons for taking the toolset approach:
Cost: There is less design work and less machining involved with toolsets. Additionally, less material is used. All of this equates to a lower tooling cost.
Lead-time: Using standard components can reduce the time needed to manufacture the tool and usually cuts the time required for tooling fabrication.
Flexibility: Master mold frames can have advanced functions — such as side actions with adjustable travel — built-in and ready to use
Downsides of Using Tool Sets
With such clear advantages, it’s reasonable to ask why anyone would choose dedicated injection mold tooling. Two reasons are:
Mold complexity: Sophisticated heating, cooling, and runner systems will need dedicated pieces that toolsets might not create.
Maximizing throughput and minimizing cost: Achieving the shortest possible cycle time involves optimizing every aspect of the mold tool.
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