Design for Manufacturing Injection Moulding
The implementation of Design For Manufacturing (DFM) practices varies by engineering discipline and manufacturing process, but here at Tex Plastics, they relate mostly to plastic injection moulding to bring plastic product concepts to life.
What is DFM?
In broadest terms, DFM is the process of consciously and proactively designing products to optimise all facets of injection moulding manufacturing. DFM simultaneously helps ensure cost and time efficiencies, quality, regulatory compliance and end user satisfaction.
The importance of DFM and good engineering practices in plastic injection moulding
The main goal of DFM is to ensure products are not only functional to their original purpose but also optimally designed for the machinery or process in which it will be manufactured. Ensuring a product follows DFM practices means that the part you see on the computer screen will be able to be manufactured and its production will run smoothly and cost-effectively.
3 key aspects to DFM for injection moulding
When designing a part for injection moulding, there are three initial aspects we look into – tolerance, draft angles and undercuts. Tolerance enables multiple parts to fit together without exerting too much force on one another. Draft angles enable the plastic part to be pulled apart from the mould tooling with limited friction. Undercuts are features that prevent a plastic part from exiting the injection mould tooling. Undercuts can get quite as complicated, and for cost-effectiveness, designers and engineers are encouraged to design out undercuts when possible, to minimise the complexity of the injection mould tooling.
It’s about asking the right questions
- What level of complexity is required?
- Can the part be manufactured in its finished form?
- Can we minimise waste material?
- How tight should tolerances be?
- Can sharp edges and corners be avoided?
- What’s the product material?
- How important is aesthetics and overall shape?
- What’s the product weight?
- Does it need moulded-in inserts
- Is the finish painted or involve printing?
- How about ultrasonic welding, textures or other types of post-processing methods?
A 360° review at the start of all new component production
Design-rationalisation, assessment and a 360° review at the start of all new component production pays massive dividends. It results in a more robust and ‘fit for purpose’ component with minimal waste, which is manufactured in the most efficient way. It’s key to minimising lead-times and reducing all elements of risk before going into full production.
Got a project or concept in mind?
Tex Plastics has worked with makers, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes to design and manufacture a wide variety of products. We take steps to ensure that each prototype reflects your required specifications and DFM standards. If you have an electronics hardware product idea and want to make it a reality, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about how we can provide high-quality prototyping and manufacturing services at budget-friendly rates with a quick turnaround.