3 desktop injection molding units
I am looking for a injection moulding method to make very small (think M4 screw size) parts out of polypropylene. Not mass production, I would be happy with one part per min. I can make small moulds of any material (I have a tiny precision mill). Companies want 50K+, forget it, so I looked whether they make small manual machines.
First, I found these 2 injection machines which were made via a kickstarter project (good). However, the owner does not ship worldwide (I am in the UK), and is not very easy to deal with. Communicating with him, one feels like he does not want to sell his machines. Has anyone tried them?
Then there are these 400W Chinese desktop “dental fixture” machines all over ebay for $1000-$1500. Of course, the Chinese ship from anywhere to anywhere. Has anyone tried these? A spec search shows 250C melting temps:
The tech kits machines have been around a while and are very simple therefore I would expect very few problems.
typical cycle times for this machines will be in the 3-5 minute range as there will be a lot of extra work opening the mold and removing the part and letting it cool in the mold before removal.
I wouldn’t mess with these Chinese machines as they will be severely limited.
Thanks, Brad! I was able to figure out from LNS that the machine has two shots, i.e. the second shot would be faster than 3-5 minutes. Since my parts are very small (about 100 mg each), I could design the mould to make an array of 50 parts at once (5-10 grams), so the throughput should be no problem. For example, it takes me 5 hrs to machine the same 50 parts on a mill (or longer, b.c. I also have to chemically clean them)
What do you think is limiting about the Chinese machines? Do you mean they are even more limited than the LNS devices? If yes, in what way? The wattage seems right.
Hi Javier — Thanks for the link! I haven’t found this machine before. It appears more powerful than the other three — 600W. The fact that it’s in the UK also makes a big difference. I would certainly consider renting it for a period of time, to test different moulds. If it’s promising, and my parts take on, I would buy it (would save a lot of time at the lab in the long run).
Are your contacts on the web site?
Have you thought about just scaling down Dave’s plan on the website to make it desktop size? I currently live in an apartment and don’t have space for all the machines at their original size so I am making the injection machine smaller and more mobile.
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