Injection molding is one of the most common manufacturing methods for production parts; this also means that there is an abundant list of material options available for molding. These materials are each engineered and include general, common materials, like PC-ABS, as well as specialty materials like injection-molded PEEK.
With every part you manufacture, the material you select should be intentional. In this instance, careful consideration should be given to the part’s utility, efficiency, and cost. It is important to understand that while certain materials may be more popular than others, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in manufacturing. At the end of the day, your material selection will always be directly related to your part’s application. The tips below are helpful for distinguishing between requirements and “desirements” in a manufacturing project, which can be critical for managing project costs and timelines.
To find the right material for your parts, it helps to work backward. Some great starting questions to ask are: What will the part be used for?, What kind of stresses will it endure?, and Where will it be located? The following criteria can help you understand what factors to prioritize for the material you select:
Once you have those initial questions answered, you could still be looking at a handful of different material options. Consider this next series of questions to help you further narrow down material for your part:
Whether it is a thermoplastic, thermoset, elastomer, synthetic rubber, or silicone rubber material, Xometry can provide instant quotes and fulfillment of your injection molded custom parts.
Want more info on this topic? Our injection molding experts Greg Paulsen and Travis Minyard hosted a 40-minute deep-dive on selecting IM materials, with 4 real-world examples to walk you through the process. Watch the full on-demand webinar here!