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What is the most redundant problem in plastic injection molding?

What is the most redundant problem in plastic injection molding?
Issue Time:2017-07-14

What is the most redundant problem in plastic injection molding?

This is a very personal answer and will probably give nightmares to technical bods in the injection Moulding industry but in my book plastic injection Moulding has been missing a major trick that would open up a whole new way to create unique individual objects!

What (!) you say, but that runs completely counter to the purpose of injection Moulding which is to make millions of exact replicas of whatever object.

Getting injection Moulding machines and the hot viscous liquid plastic to observe all the rules of making exact replicas is very difficult and requires multiple sensors and thermocouples, feedback loops and statistical process control, heck even hot runners.

Given half a chance that plastic will leave surface marks and colour variations that are anathema to the injection Moulding industry who want uniformity and replicability.

And yet, and yet…. If that machine were being used by an artist instead of a technician they would be looking for those moments when the machine produces unique marks and colours. Those are the very things artists want to exploit. An artist would learn how to control, predict and use those aberrations to create individuality.

The nearest example for what I am talking about are those multi coloured buckets you sometimes see in developing nations where the moulding company has just chucked into the machine a bunch of randomly coloured plastic granules and out the other end comes a randomly multicolored bucket. Actually that is probably not as easy as it sounds, what might well appear instead is a homogeneous grey colour. But I've seen multicoloured buckets so I know it's possible. Indeed I remember years ago meeting a company that had a plastic granule dispensing device for precisely that purpose. Presumably they were popular amongst bucket moukders.

Anyway my point is that uniform surface colour and finish is overrated and much could be made of the machines capacity to turn out unique products.