Breaking the Mold
Molding is a well-established fabrication process, but it is constantly evolving
to address challenging OEM demands.
Sam Brusco • Associate Editor
Ever had the urge to crank out solid thermoplastic parts in the comfort of your garage, but lacked the funds to pur- chase an injection molding machine? Well, armed with
between $100 and $200, a lot of metal, moderate metalworking
experience, a drill press and hand tools, and a copy of Vincent R.
Gingery’s book “Secrets of Building a Plastic Injection Molding
Machine,” this endeavor can be achieved in just three to eight
hours. At least, that’s how former Rockwell Collins electrical engineer Jim Hannon accomplished it, as he reported in MAKE:, a
publication for DIY projects and ideas for makers.
Normally, building an injection molding machine would
be well beyond the capabilities of a home shop. In his book,
Gingery simplifies the technology enough to enable building a
machine capable of inexpensively injection molding small parts
from common recycled plastic. He offers step-by-step instruc-
tions of building a small, relatively inexpensive tabletop injec-
tion molding machine able to mold up to a half ounce of plastic.
That doesn’t seem like much, and Gregory advises that the ma-
chine“will not be the right equipment if you intend to produce
parts in great quantity.”
It’s an excellent project for the budding inventor interested
in injection molding technology. Hannon built a modified ver-
sion of the machine, because, as he explained, “being an engi-
neer, [he] couldn’t resist making improvements.” Some of the
Custom fixturing and non-contact OGP measurement programs
are created and validated in-house for each part. Measurement
systems are validated for inspecting all critical dimensions with a
passing Gauge R&R so there is high confidence data provided to
the customer is valid and captured with accuracy. Image courtesy
of MTD Micro Molding.