Fathom produces high-quality prototypes for its customers by using the latest in injection molding technology. Whether time-sensitive, highly complex, high-precision, or short production run related, Fathom will meet the requirements of your project.
A prototype is a physical model of a design concept. Prototypes can be used to test if a product will work in mass production and to measure interest from customers. Another important purpose of prototyping is to protect intellectual property. A quality prototype is precise, allows for revisions of design or production process as needed, and can perform the same function as the final product.
There are many advantages to plastic injection molded prototypes. Prototyping provides the opportunity for developers to test a design concept while using a production quality part. Any design or material flaws can be caught early in the production cycle, which results in a lot of time and money saved. By using the injection molding process, the prototype can be produced quickly, allowing a company to be first to market or meet tight deadlines.
Prototype tooling is the creation of tools or molds for injection molding. Prototype tooling is sometimes called soft tooling or rapid tooling. The resulting parts made from the prototype tool are made using the same materials as the final products, which allows the developers to test a concept early in the product development process. Generally, the mold is made from less durable materials than steel but will still produce an accurate part.
Factoring in the specifications and tolerances of injection molding into a design can ensure that a part fits correctly once it is assembled. Tolerances and specifications also influence how a part should be shaped to maximize function. The optimal tolerance for a part is critical for making a premium part at an affordable price.
|TOOL OPTIONS||LEAD TIME||PART QUANTITY||MAXIMUM PARTING LINE MISMATCH||MAXIMUM FLASH||TOOL TOLERANCES LINEAR DIMENSIONS||PART COLOR||PART FINISH (COLOR)||PART FINISH (TEXTURE)|
|Rapid Tool (Master Unit Die Base)||1.5-3 Weeks||5,000 Shots||0.010in||0.010in||±0.003 + 0.002in/in||Pantone Colors||A2||Yes|
|Prototype Tool (Stand Alone)||2-4 Weeks||5,000-50,000 Shots||0.010in||0.007in||±0.005 + 0.002in/in||A2|
|Production Tool||5-10 Weeks (Depends on Size and Complexity)||250,000 - 1,000,000 Shots (Depending on Class of Tool Selected)||0.005in||0.005in||SPI (Commercial)||A1|
Once a part has been injection molded, it moves to the finishing phase. Some finishes may be for cosmetic reasons, but others may add to the physical properties of a workpiece. Here are some of the finishing processes offered by Fathom.
|SURFACE FINISH||GUIDE||TYPICAL APPLICATIONS|
|Standard No Machine Mark||Tool Marks Removed||Low Cosmetic|
|SPI-C1||600 Stone||Low Polish Parts|
|SPI-B1||600 Grit Paper||Medium Polish Parts|
|SPI-A2||Grade #6 Diamond||High Polish Parts|
|SPI-A1||Grade #3||Lens or Mirror|
|IM-1 Light Bead Blast||Need 1 Degree Draft Angle|
|IM-2 Medium Bead Blast||Need 1.5 Degree Draft Angle|
|IM-3 Heavy Bead Blast||Need 3 Degree Draft Angle|
Partner with Fathom for high-quality and cost-effective injection molding prototypes. Fathom is a single-source global solution ready to support both low- and high-volume jobs. Our team incorporates both additive and advanced technologies, resulting in high-quality parts that will meet your customers’ needs.
Injection Molding is just one of 28 manufacturing processes offered by Fathom.
Use Fathom’s SmartQuote online platform to receive a quote in as fast as 1 hour, usually within 24 hours. Whether you need prototype injection molding or another manufacturing service, Fathom’s injection molding lead times are as follows:
Fathom has 2 US-based locations that offer injection molding, offering nationwide coverage to the entire United States. Fathom’s advanced prototyping and manufacturing services include wire EDM, CNC machining, chemical etching, metal 3D printing, and more. We have provided over 200,000 quotes to leading US companies and are ready to provide you with a quote today.
1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
1207 Adams Drive
McHenry, IL 60051
A: Yes, Fathom offers injection molding services.
A: Injection molding is a manufacturing process commonly used for plastic parts. During injection molding, molten plastic is injected into a mold using high pressure. Once the part has cooled inside the mold, it is ejected. The part may or may not require a secondary finish.
A: Fathom’s certifications include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 9001:2015 Design, and ISO 13485:2016. For site-specific certifications, please visit https://fathommfg.com/fathom-manufacturing-certifications.
A: Yes, Fathom is ITAR certified. For site-specific certifications, please visit https://fathommfg.com/fathom-manufacturing-certifications.
A: Yes, Fathom is AS9100:2016. For site-specific certifications, please visit https://fathommfg.com/fathom-manufacturing-certifications.
A: Yes, Fathom’s certifications include NIST 800-171. For site-specific certifications, please visit https://fathommfg.com/fathom-manufacturing-certifications.
A: A prototype mold or soft mold is a mold that is produced cost-effectively, designed to create production quality parts to test a design concept.
A: A prototype injection mold produces a prototype part. The prototype tests the design of the part and allows developers to gather feedback or make revisions before transitioning to mass production.
A: A plastic prototype can be made using the same methods used for large scale production, including injection molding.
A: The mold in manufacturing sets the shape of the part. Molds can be made from steel, aluminum, copper and more.