Latest articles

Article

Injection Molding for Electrical Components: Improving Speed and Design

How Sourcing Injection Molding Through Fictiv Can Give Electrical Companies a Competitive Advantage You might not know it, but many electric parts that you find around the house or in stores today are manufactured with plastic parts using an injection molding process. Some of these products include wire caps, motor housings, power strips, plugs and […]

Article

SPI Guidelines for Injection Mold Surface Finish

SPI guidelines provide injection molders and product designers with a standard way to describe the surface finish of molded plastic parts. These guidelines were defined by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), a U.S.-based trade association that’s now known as the Plastics Industry Association (PIA, or PLASTICS). By providing a “common language” for surface […]

Article

Conversion Coatings: The Benefits of Passivation, Black Oxide, Alodine, and Anodizing

The Second Law of Thermodynamics declares that everything tends to move into a state of disorder. We all know what happens when metal is exposed to the elements: deterioration. When designing and creating your products, the last thing you want to discover is a layer of deteriorated metal in the form of oxidation, corrosion, or […]

Article

Thermoplastics vs. Thermoset Plastics: Material Properties Overview

Thermoplastics and thermoset plastics are classes of polymers used in injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing, and urethane casting. Like elastomers, another class of polymer, thermoplastics and thermosets both consist of long, repeating chains of molecules. Under a microscope, the structure of a thermoplastic resembles a railroad track while a thermoset material looks like a […]

Article

Everything You Need to Know About STEP Files

As an engineer, you probably have experience opening, reviewing, creating, or editing STEP files. During my freshman year at Rose-Hulman, I sat in a class with 30 other students who all seemed to have an enormous amount of knowledge about 3D modeling. Meanwhile, I had never created nor even opened one before, so the first […]

Article

CNC Machining for Production

Introduction The concept of and applications for CNC machining are mainstream in modern manufacturing and are used to make products in a range of sizes & varying dimensions. However, CNC machining for production is volume-dependent.  Mastering CNC production entails learning how to efficiently utilize a CNC machine to produce large quantities of components. This article […]

Article

 Jigs vs Fixtures: An Overview

Jigs and fixtures are frequently utilized in CNC machining to ensure precision, accuracy, and quality of CNC machined components. These are both types of engineered tooling designed to hold things in place during machining. The ability to hold things in place makes jigs and fixtures workholders for CNC machining. While both of these terms are […]

Article

How to Build a BOM

Chefs create recipes. Hardware Engineers create BOMs (Bill of Materials) and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). The BOM is an ingredient list for building your product, and the SOP is the set of instructions on how to build it. In this article, we’ll explain how to construct an excellent ingredients list that will help you clearly […]

Article

Specialty Plastics and Polymer Blends for Injection Molding

Specialty plastics for injection molding have material and performance properties that meet the requirements of more demanding applications. These include engineering plastics and resins for medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, and other applications. Polymer blends — mixtures of two or more polymers that form new materials with different properties — are also used to meet tougher […]

Article

Product Study: Gate Sizes and Placement in Injection Molding

The Challenge: Avoid Gate-Related Part Defects Injection molding gates are larger or smaller in order to support the direction and volume of flow into the mold cavity. If a gate is too large, molten plastic may fill the cavity unevenly and cause part defects such as weld lines and shrinkage. If a gate is too […]