If you’ve had any insight into engineering lately, you’ve probably heard about micro molding. Micro molding makes creating extremely small parts possible through fairly new technology. But what exactly is micro molding? Read on for a more detailed explanation of what micro molding really is.
What it is
Micro molding, also known as plastic injection molding, is the process of creating miniature parts by injecting materials into a mold. Materials such as plastic, glass or metals are liquefied and injected into molds. After the liquid has cooled down, it hardens into the micro part. Most micro-molded parts are no larger than .5 cubic inches.
How it works
There are four main parts in a plastic injection molding system. These parts, and their functions, include:
- Hopper – where materials are stored and fed into the barrel.
- Barrel – where materials are heated before moving on to the reciprocating screw.
- Reciprocating screw – melts the material and pushes it toward the nozzle.
- Nozzle – forms a heated, sealed connection between the barrel and the mold.
Once the mold is filled and the liquid has cooled, the mold is taken apart to reveal the micro part inside.
What it does
Micro molding makes it possible to mass-manufacture miniscule parts for important tools such as medical instruments and electronics. With micro molding, it’s possible to create a number of small parts quickly and with precision. Instead of people having to make each part individually, these machines make creating necessary parts easier and more efficient.
How it’s used
Micro molding is used in many fields. Some of the most common fields are medical, electronic and pharmaceutical. Micro-molded parts make it possible to create small parts for medical tools and electronic parts found in items such as hearing aids and cellphones. Micro molding has played a critical part in making minimally invasive medical procedures possible.
Micro molding has been a vital help in advancing medical and pharmaceutical technology and electronics, to name a few. By enabling miniscule parts to be mass-produced by machines, parts are created more accurately and quickly than human production can allow. It’s exciting to think about where the future of micro molding is headed.