Low-Volume Injection Molding: A Complete Guide

Injection molding is a process that is used to create plastic parts. It is a popular manufacturing method because it can produce high-quality parts quickly and efficiently. However, not all businesses need large quantities of plastic parts. For those businesses, low-volume injection molding may be the better option.

Low-volume injection molding is a manufacturing process that is similar to traditional injection molding, but with lower production quantities. It is ideal for businesses that need fewer than 100 parts per year. Low-volume plastic injection molding has a number of benefits, including shorter lead times and lower costs.

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about low-volume molding! We will cover the benefits, disadvantages, and costs of this manufacturing process. By the end of this guide, you will know if low-volume injection molding is right for your business.

Low-volume injection molding – Manufacturing on demand: What is it?

Figure 1 Low-Volume Injection Molding

Low-Volume injection molding is a process where  molds are created to produce a lower quantity of plastic parts. Low volume injection molding is considered as on-demand manufacturing, since the molds are created only when an order is placed and in a required quantity. Low-Volume Injection Molding is perfect for businesses that require:

– Quick turnaround time

– Low production costs

– Low minimum order quantities (MOQs)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of low-volume plastic injection molding?

The strengths of a low-volume injection molding are as follows: 

  • Cost-effective – This type of molding process is usually cut from high-quality material of aluminum, and that is why it is easy to modify the metals, unlike the others.
  • Quick Production Process – Low-volume injection molding can produce each parts quickly, since the aluminum is naturally soft that makes the parts to be molded faster.
  • Design Flexibility – Since Low-volume injection molding is a process to make parts in smaller batches and that is why it can test any other ideas to improve the manufacturability.

Like any other injection molding processes, low-volume injection molding also has its own weaknesses. some of them are:

  • Low-Product Life – The low-volume injection molding produces low durability of products that results in a low lifespan of the product.
  • Some are costly to manufacture – Aluminum alloy mold are an example for this, and it can take a little bit longer to process.
  • Design Limitations – This has more limitations in design because of the durability.

Applications of low volume injection molding

This type of molding is usually used for the following applications:

Rapid prototyping

Figure 2 Rapid Prototyping

Low-volume injection molding is perfect for businesses that need to create prototypes quickly and efficiently. This manufacturing process can produce high-quality parts in a shorter amount of time than other methods, such as CNC machining. Using the CNC machining It enables clients to prototype quickly and affordably and validate final manufacturing conditions during the pilot production phase of new product development. 

Custom parts

Figure 3 Custom Parts

Low-volume injection molding is also a great option for businesses that need to create custom parts. It could be for a specific purpose, such as human factors, an application, or a particular event. This manufacturing process can create parts that are not possible to create with other methods, such as CNC machining or additive manufacturing. Low-volume injection molding is also a great option for businesses that need to create custom colors or designs.

Short-run injection molding

Figure 4 Short-Run Injection Molding

A short run plastic injection molding process is also referred to as a low-volume or small batch plastic injection molding process. A significant saving in production costs and development time can be achieved with the use of this technology. As an alternative to utilizing both high-grade aluminum and lower grade steel injection molds to manufacture high-volume parts, it can be installed on a simple plastic injection molded component made out of high-grade aluminum or lower grade steel injection molds. Typically, its use is limited to injection molding applications for which there are less than 10,000 parts that need to be made..


Is low-volume plastic injection molding of Go4mould a good option for me?

Absolutely! Go4Mould is one of the leading Injection Molding in China, thus making our Low-Volume Injection Molding one of our expertise. Our low-Volume Injection Molding has a lot of benefits from the production to delivery! We also excel in making complex low-volume injection molding with your specific requirements.

What are the costs associated with low-volume molding?

The cost of Low-volume injection molding can vary depending on a few factors, such as:

  • The size and complexity of the part
  • The number of parts needed
  • The material used
  • The lead time

What is the difference between low-volume injection molding & traditional injection molding?

A key characteristic of low-volume injection molding that sets it apart from traditional injection molding is its relatively high production speed. There is a significant speed difference between low-volume plastic molding and traditional injection molding. Moreover, because of the complexity of the mold designs, traditional injection molding can take longer to produce parts due to the longer manufacturing time. This is the reason it is beneficial to choose low-volume molding over traditional techniques because there are many key advantages it offers.

What are the common plastics used in low-volume plastic injection molding?

Low volume plastic injection molding is often performed with the following plastics that are most commonly used:

  • acrylic (PMMA)
  • acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
  • polypropylene (PP)
  • polycarbonate (PC)
  • nylon polyamide (PA)
  • polyethyelene (PE)
  • polyoxymethylene (POM)
  • thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)
  • thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
  • polystyrene (PS)

ABS is commonly used as a component for low volume plastic injection molding molds by many companies, as it is a tough and durable material. A large variety of items can be manufactured using ABS. For example, ABS can make automotive components, medical devices, and instruments, as well as other consumer items. However, it should be noted that there is a wide range of plastics for which low volume injection molds can be designed.

Figure 5 ABS plastic moulding

ABS plastic moulding

To conclude, Low-volume plastic molding is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing process that can create parts that are not possible to create with other methods. Low-volume injection molding offers many benefits, such as shorter lead times and lower production costs.

It is important to choose the right supplier to manufacture your injection molds. It is important to make sure they will turn out the way you wanted them to, as it can be extremely expensive if they don’t turn out as you expected.

If you have any questions about Low-Volume plastic injection Molding, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us! Go4mould will always be ready to answer all of your inquiries! We would be happy to help you with your Low-Volume plastic Molding needs. Thank you for reading! We hope this article has helped you in understanding Low-Volume Injection Molding better!

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