How Can I Reduce Mould Costs?

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Imagine manufacturing hundreds of thousands of goods and then lacking customers to buy them because they are not of the right quality or aesthetically satisfying. Would be chaos for you as a manufacturer. But, injection moulding comes in to solve these issues and guarantee high-quality products and efficiency in mass production. 

Nonetheless, setting up, sourcing for raw materials, and performing actual injection production of goods is very costly. You need to consider various cost drivers such as mould design, and manufacturing process before kick-starting any injection moulding project. 

In this article, we will explore various strategies to reduce your injection moulding costs. Read on to find to set yourself up for efficient and cost-effective injection moulding production!

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Injection moulding machine (image source: shutterstock)

Understanding Mould Costs

Injection moulding costs are attributed to various factors. This makes it vital for you as a manufacturer to understand these factors as they are the determinants of whether your manufacturing project is successful or not. Below, we will discuss moulding costs in terms of material used, product design, the manufacturing process, and other additional costs. 

1. Material Used

There are various materials that you can use for your injection moulding project. However, these materials are used based on the use case of the end product as some require more complex polymers to make and need to be resistant to certain environmental or elements like chemicals. 

That said, different raw materials are priced differently. For instance, specialised polymers like PEEK cost more as compared to other standard polymers like PE. The density of the polymer might also contribute to cost variance. 

When choosing a raw material to use in your injection moulding project, bear in mind that you can only make the best choice by considering various aspects such as the use case, desired appearance and texture, resistance to chemicals or environmental factors, regulatory standards, and life expectancy of the moulds. 

2. Product Design

When it comes to design, costs can vary based on the complexity with less complex designs costing less and more complex designs costing more. This is so because with more complex designs you require several processes or specialised mould makers to achieve the desired output. 

The time taken to produce complex designs is more compared to less complex designs. This further contributes to more mould costs in the manufacturing process. In order to reduce cost associated with product design, you should opt for less complex but efficient designs. 

Nonetheless, some moulds require complex designs that will, of course, be more costly. While these sophisticated designs may attract more profits, finding the right balance will prove to be worthwhile in the long run. 

3. Manufacturing Process

You can use several methods to produce injection moulded products. However, the best method to use is determined by factors such as the complexity of the design, the material used, the desired end product, and of course mould costs. 

Some of the main injection moulding methods that you can utilise in your project include: 

  • Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing – This is a high-end method that is used to make injection moulds easily. This method is associated with lower costs as limited equipment, time and resources are required to produce moulded goods.
  • CNC Machining – It is an injection moulding method that is used to make less complex designs. This method is the most used one for making injection moulds because it requires a few steps to create finished products. This method is also the most efficient when it comes to mould costs as it is less costly while still very efficient. 
  • Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) – EDM method is used to make complex injection moulds that cannot be done using other simpler methods. With the complex processes involved, this method leads to more mould costs and is thus less adopted by manufacturers.  
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CNC machining (image source: Shutterstock)

4. Additional Costs

Other costs that come up in injection moulding projects include maintenance costs. While this additional cost further contributes to mould costs, they are usually not very high but you cannot overlook them either. 

Design Optimization

The design of the mould and the complexity of the injection moulding project contributes highly to mould costs. Simply, more complex designs attract more costs while less complex designs are associated with lower costs. This makes it vital for you as an injection moulding manufacturer to optimise on design for favourable moulding costs. 

You can simplify the design of your injection mould while maintaining optimum functionality by optimising aspects such as wall thickness, ensuring structural integrity, and utilising appropriate materials. These optimization methods are not only efficient but also do not compromise on the functionality of your injection moulding process. 

Other design optimization methods include the use of CAD and prototyping! 

CAD as a Tool for Design Optimization

Computer Aided Designing (CAD) is an excellent tool that can help in optimising your injection moulding project. This innovation that has been in use for several years ensures the making of unique, complex designs that can be injection-moulded with ease. 

There are various CAD programs available nowadays and picking one that suits your moulding project is vital. With a good CAD program, you can create solid 3D products, visualise them and even proceed to design and test the entire process on a computer environment. This helps save on time and costs thus proving to be a good way to optimise your injection moulding projects. 

Prototyping for Optimal Mould Design

For an optimal design, an injection moulding project needs to be technically sound, aesthetically pleasing, and fully functional. Prototyping intertwines these three aspects to ensure absolute design optimization. 

Basically, prototyping ensures that injection moulded products are of high quality and are produced within less timelines. If you are seeking quality products with lower costs and production times, then this technology will revolutionise your manufacturing process. With a prototype you can see and feel a replica of your final product thus it helps in testing aesthetics, strength, and texture. 

Material Section

Selecting the right material for your injection moulding project is vital in ensuring the cost-effectiveness and quality of your products. You can use various materials to make injection moulded products. Some of these materials include: 

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polystyrene (PS) 
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
  • Polyether ether ketone (PEEK), etc. 
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Plastic granules for injection moulding (image source: shutterstock)

In terms of costs, these materials vary massively. For example, plastics like polyether ether ketone and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene are more expensive while polyethylene and polypropylene are less expensive. 

It is vital to consider various factors such as durability and use case of the products before deciding on the material to use for your production. The material you choose not only affects your mould costs but also impacts the quality of product, the process to use and of course, production lead times. 

Impact of Material on Injection Moulding

The material you use in your manufacturing plays a key role in determining the success of your injection moulding project. Moulding materials impact quality, production process, lead times and costs, directly.

In order to optimise on costs, make sure to pick the right material for every product. This will further help in creating high-quality products that attract more adoption by consumers and thus more profits. 

Selecting the Right Mould Maker

Choosing the right mould maker can be a big challenge. Below are a few tips to help you in making the right choice: 

1. Define Your Need

The first step towards creating a successful manufacturing project is having clearly defined needs. These needs are what determines the right mould maker to go for. You can define your project needs by first identifying the type of injection moulded items that you want to make. 

2. Analyse Available Mould Makers

The next step after defining your needs is reviewing the mould makers offered in the market based on your needs. The reviewing process should compare different aspects which can be key decision drivers on which one to go for. 

3. Put Other Factors into Consideration

After reviewing based on key components and functionalities, consider additional factors such as maintenance which can influence costs. Make sure to take the additional factors into consideration before making your choice.

4. Go for the Best Offer

Once done doing your analysis, proceed to pick the best offer based on your needs. The perfect mould maker should be cost-friendly, project specific and have the capability to produce high end products in an efficient manner. 

Maintenance and Upkeep

Based on high consumer demands and need for faster supply chain lead times, the manufacturing industry is a fast paced sector. This sector calls for continuous running of the production line.That said, injection moulds regular maintenance and upkeep to prevent breakdowns and project disruption. 

If not well taken care of, injection moulds can become rusty, warpy, and faulty hence the need for regular checkups to avoid compromising on the quality of products and the efficiency required for mass production. 

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Regular inspection and upkeep will help you keep off very expensive repairs. Here are some more maintenance tips to keep your mould free of defects:

Injection mould maintenance (image source: shutterstock)

  • Ensure regular cleaning 
  • Lubricate parts regularly
  • Watch out for wear and tear
  • Grease metallic parts to avoid rusting
  • Opt for professional maintenance 

These strategies will promote the longevity of your injection mould, ensure the quality of products, and save you tens of thousands that could be spent on repairs. Additionally, the strategies boost the functionality of the injection mould and enhance worker safety. 


The cost of injection moulds varies based on various factors including materials used, product design, manufacturing process, and other additional costs. However, these costs can be reduced by employing various strategies like choosing the right materials, going for simplified designs, and picking the best moulding process. 

With new technologies coming up every now and then, it is commendable that you stay updated on the latest injection moulding innovations. Most of these new technologies are designed to produce quality products while keeping the manufacturing process cost-effective. 

Put the above tips into practice on your injection moulding project to only have instant cost benefits but also position your company for success in the competitive manufacturing sector.


Gary Liao

Gary Liao

Gary Liao is the Engineering Manager of TDL Company and has more than 20 years of mold design experience.

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