Post Menu and Details.
- How Does Injection Molding Work?
- Why Injection Molding Works For Toys Manufacturers?
- Material Options For Injection Molding
- Final Thoughts
Reading time: ~4 minutes
Since the history of toy production is a pretty eventful one, we can’t deny that each generation has had its own toy trends. And while some of them have become timeless classics, others have faded into a haze of nostalgia.
Nevertheless, certain constructive materials determined the direction in which kids cultivated their imaginations by spending endless hours playing with their toys, most of them being metal, plastic, and silicone, among others.c
The manufacturing process that is extensively used to produce these children’s toys and games is called molding, and the best method to create these products is the injection molding method. Being one of the most widely used methods for manufacturing parts for toys and games, injection molding has been used by major companies and product developers for a very long time. Mass production is the principal advantage that makes injection molding the go-to process for manufacturers to scale up their production. Another beneficiary of this technique is the amateurs who need a cheap process to yield high-quality toys and parts. Walking down any toy aisle at a toy shop, you can easily spot toys made from injection molding technique which shows how prevalent and ubiquitous this technique is.
So, as we embrace technology and implement advanced ways of manufacturing toys and games for kids, let’s explore the many properties of injection molding and how it works in detail for every material found in products for children’s entertainment.
In brief, injection molding works by injecting molten material into a mold, where it cools and is eventually ejected, leaving behind a solid part. Each produced piece is made from a single workpiece called a feedstock that’s melted and injected into the mold. After that, the material is then cooled in the mold to be removed once it takes shape. The injection molding machines have two major components: the injection unit and the clamping unit, which work together to produce a final product.
To make the process easier and more accessible for manufacturers that don’t have the needed injection molding equipment in-house, companies that offer injection molding services are usually hired to generate a substantial number of production parts and prototype moldings, whether in low or high volume, which also includes testing the manufacturability and functioning of the services’ concepts. This is the most common way of making popular toys, with a toy company coming up with a toy design and then outsourcing the production part of the process to a renowned injection molding service.
Well, one of the best things about injection molding projects is how the manufacturing process works for large production runs. This is ideal for children’s toys because there is such a massive demand for them, requiring huge production runs without any stoppage.
In addition, children tend to grow out of their toys quickly, so parents aren’t likely to spend a fortune on their children’s toys. For that reason, injection-molded products are much more affordable than they would be in other manufacturing processes, like CNC machining or 3D printing.
Even though it does have a small number of initial costs, mainly because of the need to make molds, once the molds have been made, it becomes much cheaper to produce large numbers of the same products at once.
Another fantastic advantage of injection molding for children’s toys is the attention to detail that comes with injection molding. With the proper tools and tooling sets, manufacturers can create toys with complex designs that come with many features without compromising their quality or durability.
Lastly, you should also know that there are many materials available that can be turned into high-quality toys using injection molding. Of course, each type of material has its own unique characteristics, and it is important to select one that will work well with the product.
The fundamentals that a manufacturer may look for in the material are strength and elasticity. Besides that, the consumers’ affordability, safety, and interest are some other factors they have to take into account to hit the target audience.
Plastic is an excellent and the most widespread material choice for injection-molded toys, and it’s arguably the most popular one because plastics are very strong and durable. In addition, any plastic material can be molded into many different shapes, come in different colors, and be non-toxic, making it the perfect material for small children who may chew on or touch the toy. Its moldability and lightweight further helps in the mass production of children’s toys for manufacturers.
Plastics are of two types. Either thermoplastics or thermosets can be used. However, thermosets are more durable because once set into the mold to get into a shape, they are permanently molded.
While this is not as common as plastic, some toys do require metal parts. Metal injection molding can also allow manufacturers to have intricate designs and details.
This type of material is another good choice since it can withstand more temperature extremes than plastic, has better tensile strength, and does not scratch easily. However, regardless of what type of toy is getting manufactured, the materials used need to meet the standards set forth by ASTM International, which are based on age-appropriateness.
The future of toys, games, and props is undoubtedly here. Manufacturers from all over the world see the benefits of using injection molding in their own factories. The process is an excellent means for manufacturers to produce toys and games of higher quality at lower costs.
From using it to produce prototypes to scaling it to mass production runs, this versatile process can be used in a variety of ways to suit the needs and expectations of most toy and game makers. For those looking to get into the growing toy and game business, injection molding can be a great way to do so without drawbacks and without spending massive amounts of money.
Thank you for reading!