Many startup entrepreneurs and established companies look at the plastic manufacturing industry as a great opportunity for their business ventures and necessity to realize their product. You cannot blame them for this impression because plastic products are everywhere and one can easily assume the demand for plastic products will always be high given their versatility. It ranges from casing for electronics products to kitchen or household equipment and industrial application. However, before venturing into plastic production, it is important to learn about the basics of the plastic manufacturing process. In this case, how do you make plastic products and what do you need to get started?

You need to have a certain amount of knowledge regarding the industry you want to use for making your product for your business before you actually dive into it. Your knowledge does not have to be expert level but you should at least know some basic information and processes involved. When it comes to plastic manufacturing, the most important thing you need to be aware of as a potential business owner is the process of how to make plastic products.

In this article, let us look into how do you make plastic products and hope the information you get can also serve as an inspiration for your production process once your plastic business runs full throttle and you realize your product ideas.

Step by Step Process of Making a Plastic Product

1. Create a mockup of your plastic design

When you think of designs and concepts, you need to sketch or draw them in order to give them a visual representation. The same principle applies to plastic designs except that they have to be in a 3D design file format for them to be accepted in manufacturing. From basic sketches, ask the help of a graphic designer to translate these drawings into a 3D mockup in CAD or any other professional design file format. You will use these 3D to present your designs to the plastic manufacturer later on and it’s okay to just start with some simple drawings.

2. Optimize your plastic design

With the aesthetics and visual aspect in place, you now have to work on the specifications of the product and optimize it according to its purpose. You have to come up with a list of materials needed for its production. If your plastic product has any add-ons or accessories, now is the time to list them down and specify them alongside your drawings. Keep in mind there is a wide variety of plastic material available and you need to choose at this phase which one to use for your product. Also consider that your product has to be optimized for injection molding. No all shapes are suitable for that and adjustments might have to be made.

3. Create a product prototype with a 3D print

With all the measurements and specifications in place, you will now make a product prototype which allows you to see and feel the plastic product in its physical form. The product prototype does not have to be made out of the materials listed but it needs to resemble the product itself as it is expected to come out of the production line. The most common way for most products is to make professional 3D prints. If there are any errors in the sample, now is the time to make changes and alter the drawing if necessary until you come up with the perfect product prototype. Product prototyping and 3D printing primarily focuses on the dimensions, details and measurements of the product as you prepare for the next critical phase.

4. Making metal injection molds

Once the product prototype gets approved, you now move on to the most critical phase in all of plastic manufacturing which is creating the mold/s. A plastic mold is an empty solid frame made out of aluminum or stainless steel patterned after your plastic product design. Plastic material which is usually polyethylene or polypropylene will then be injected to the mold and takes the shape of the mold. It will be allowed to cool off and eventually harden to end up as the plastic product once removed from the plastic mold.

It is advisable to leave the mold creation to the plastic manufacturer instead of doing the DIY approach. Any non-metal molds are not suitable for significant quantities and are much more expensive per piece. They are equipped with the right tools and technology when it comes to mold creation and this allows to save time and resources in the process. Plastic molds aren’t temporary and are under your ownership as a client. You can use them time and again if you intend to reproduce the same plastic parts even if you go with a different plastic manufacturer next time around.

5. Arrange mass production with your factory

If you are satisfied with your plastic mold/s, you can now proceed to arrange production with your factory. However, you need to oversee production as part of your quality control program since it is sometimes inevitable plastic production goes awry due to some external conditions and unforeseen circumstances. Inspect each batch of production and make sure all of the plastic products come out according to design.

Conclusion

How do you make plastic products is a tedious process and it is important to be knowledgeable about it if you are planning to start a plastic production business. You also need to get to know the different methods of plastic production aside from injection molding which are extrusion molding, vacuum casting, thermoforming and a lot more (largely depends on the product you want to do). These other methods may differ in terms of process but knowing what is traditional must be a good start.

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Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker