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2024 Pricing Guide: The Cost of Plastic Injection Molding

Dec19, 2023

Injection Molding Cost

The global injection molding market size was estimated at USD 261.8 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2022 to 2030. 

How Much Does Plastic Injection Molding Cost? This is a question most startup entrepreneurs ask. But there is no definite answer to this question. As of December 2023, the price of a minimum standard injection molding service will be around US$6,500 to US$10,000.

If you plan to find an injection molding company to provide molding services for your project in the near future, then you need to know the approximate price of injection molding services and how you can optimize your project to reduce the cost of injection molding.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Injection Molding Pricing: How Much Does It Cost?
  2. How to Calculate the Price of Injection Molding Services?
  3. Injection Molding Material Cost Estimation
  4. Injection Mold Cost Estimation
  5. Manufacturing Cost Estimate
  6. 2024 Price Table for Plastic Molding Services
  7. What Impacts the Cost of Injection Molding? 
  8. How Can I Reduce Injection Molding Prices? 
  9. How to Get the Most Reasonable Quote from an Injection Molding Company?
  10. How to Find Cheap Injection Molding Services?
  11. Frequently Asked Questions

 

Injection Molding Pricing: How Much Does It Cost?

The price of injection molding is composed of many factors. Different order quantities, the use of different materials, and purchasing from different countries will affect the final price. Generally speaking, the price of a minimum standard injection molding service is around US$6,500 to US$10,000. Most injection molding companies typically provide final quotations for a molding project in the range of $10,000 to $30,000.

However, with the mass production of plastic parts, the overall manufacturing cost will naturally decrease. As a result, many consider plastic injection molding to be one of the most cost-effective methods of mass-producing plastic parts.

Considering all the variables involved is critical in determining the overall injection mold cost. You have to carefully balance tooling costs with the number of parts you want to produce. Higher production volumes can lower the final unit cost of each part because the total injection mold cost can be spread over thousands or even tens of thousands of parts. 

While the initial investment in injection molding can be significant, it is still the fastest and most economical way to produce large quantities of plastic parts.

 

How to Calculate the Price of Injection Molding Services?

Prices have subjective factors and need to be considered based on various circumstances. However, the cost of injection molding can be evaluated relatively objectively. Let’s first simply break down the cost structure of the following injection molded parts: Injection molding price = material cost + mold cost + order quantity + other expenses.

How to Calculate the Price of Injection Molding Services

Contact the experts at Hing Tung Mold to learn more about plastic injection molding costs or get guidance on your next project.

 

Injection Molding Material Cost Estimation

First, you need to know the raw material (thermoplastic resin) of the part you need to calculate. The following are some common injection molding raw materials and their prices:

Type Features Common Applications             Price per pound
ABS durable, lightweight electronics, keyboards, phone hardware, LEGO bricks, drainpipe systems, kitchen appliances $1.30
Polyethylene flexible, impact-resistant, leech resistant, moisture resistant, recyclable food packaging, milk jugs, toys $1.20
Polypropylene leech resistant, flexible Tupperware, kiddie pools, toys, utensils, car batteries $0.90
Polystyrene warp, shrink and impact resistant compact disc cases, packaging applications, household appliances $1.00
Nylon / (POM) heat-resistant, durable high-ware parts, quick-release buckles, gears, hand cranks $2.20
Polycarbonate impact resistant, optical clarity, vulnerable to chemicals automobile headlights, bulletproof glass, eyeglasses, greenhouses, DVDs, mobile phones $2.30

 

Injection Mold Cost Estimation

The highest proportion of injection molding costs is mold cost. There are several factors that influence the pricing of injection molds.

  • Part complexity: Complex parts require more time to produce the mold and focus on precision to ensure quality. also,
  • Size of the part: The size of the part is important because larger parts require larger molds, resulting in increased costs in material and production time.
  • Mold Material: The choice of mold material is critical; while tool steel is a high-quality, durable option, it is also one of the most expensive.

The cost of an injection mold can vary based on a variety of factors, but the average cost is around $3,000. Prices range from as low as $2,000 to as high as $20,000, so it's important to get quotes from multiple companies before making a decision.

 

Manufacturing Cost Estimate

The equipment associated with injection molding is generally self-regulating and relies on automation to get the job done. CNC machines, EDM machines, and 3D printers rely on the specifications of the CAD design to produce a mold. The injection molding machine also relies on automation to inject materials into the mold, and industrial IM machines often cool and eject the finished item autonomously. 

Labor costs include:

  • Setup/configuration cost: The setup labor focuses on the time taken to configure the utilized equipment to produce the mold and the finished product. 
  • Repair cost: Repair and maintenance tasks involve the replacement of defective parts and the use of tools to execute the maintenance process. 
  • Monitoring costs: Despite the reliance on automation, equipment operators are expected to monitor the progress of the injection molding process. Operator wages accrued during the process are added to the total cost of injection molding. 

When producing in-house, these costs are calculated into the labor costs. When a business outsources injection molding, the labor and the markup of the service provider are added to the service cost.

 

2024 Price Table for Plastic Molding Services

This table counts the latest prices of injection molding services in 2024, and the transaction prices inside are for your reference.

  LOW-VOLUME MID-VOLUME HIGH-VOLUME
Production volume 100 5,000 100,000
Method In house mold production and in house molding Outsourced mold production and molding Outsourced mold production and molding
Lead time to final parts 1-3 days 3-4 weeks 4-8 weeks
Mold cost $100 $3,000 $20,000
Material cost $0.5 / part $0.5 / part $0.5 / part
Labor costs $2.5 / part $1.5 / part $1 / part
Total production cost $400 $13,000 $170,000
Cost per part $4 $2.60 $1.70

 

 

What Impacts the Cost of Injection Molding? 

Injection Molding Cost

There are many factors that affect the price of injection molding, and the main influencing factors include the following:

Factor #1. Size of the Parts

The more sizeable the desired part is, the larger cast it requires for molding. Additionally, larger casts require more material to complete the project. All of these elements combined lead to higher prices, especially when compared to using parts with smaller measurements. 

Factor #2. Design of the Parts

Parts designed with more complex measurements need casts with more details to complete the finished product. Normally, casts have a side A and a side B. Side A is referred to as the cosmetic side and is much smoother because users will view it the most. Side B includes the hidden components that promote the proper function of the part. These components may include ribs and other recesses. 

When casts include intricate designs on both sides, they're usually higher in price to create in comparison to simple models. These designs often require undercuts and various cores, which significantly increase the cost. 

Factor #3. Production Volume

You might have seen that manufacturing costs per part become less when the production takes place in large quantities. The same idea holds true for injection molding as well.

When you are fulfilling a large production volume, you will require a corresponding large number of molds. However, the cost of the molds does not increase linearly. For example, if the cost of a mold is $1 per part for 100 parts, the cost for 5000 parts can be about $0.5 per part, and for 100,000 molds it can be $0.25 per part.

Similarly, the labor costs per part also decrease for larger production volumes. While the final cost of production increases for higher production volumes, you will incur significantly lower per part expenses.

Factor #4. Part Volume or Cavities

The part volume is also known as the cavity or empty part of the cast. Overall cavity volume or additional cavities means a longer press time is required. Additional press times decrease production times which raises the overall price. 

Factor #5. Injection Material Cost

Plastic injection molding offers a certain degree of versatility concerning the plastics you can use as the injection material. Some examples include ABS, PU, PE, PP, and PC.

The cost of material for plastic resin pellets used in the injection molding process is from $1 per kg to $5 per kg. The final cost of injected material will depend on the amount used, which, in turn depends on the design required.

Other materials that can be injected are different metals and liquid silicone.

Factor #6. Other Service

If the manufacturer needs additional services such as polishing or secondary finishing for the product, these represent an extra expense. While it is not a part of the injection molding cost, the service provider might consider it an added cost.

 

How Can I Reduce Injection Molding Prices? 

Injection Molding Cost

In order to make your product more competitive, here are some tips you need to consider:

Simplifying Features for Efficient CAD Design

One of the key aspects of optimizing the CAD design is to simplify the features of a part. Complex features often result in the need for intricate molds and additional steps in the injection molding process. By eliminating unnecessary features, the cost of injection molds can be significantly reduced. Not only does this streamline the manufacturing process, but it also helps in saving valuable resources.

Cost-Effective Approach: Reducing Part Size

When it comes to parts, bigger is not always better. Increasing the size of parts also increases the expenses associated with the required injection molds. However, by considering the possibility of reducing the part size while accomplishing the same objective, one can adopt a cost-effective approach. Opting for a smaller part size not only reduces mold costs but also enhances efficiency in the production process.

Reusing Molds: Maximizing Resource Utilization

To make the most of available resources, it is advisable to reuse molds for various applications. Molds can be utilized not only for producing the same part repeatedly but also for creating similar parts with minor adjustments or mold modifications. By leveraging the flexibility of molds, companies can save costs and improve the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process.

Leveraging Insert Molds for Enhanced Efficiency

Incorporating advanced technologies like insert injection molding and overmolding can result in long-term cost savings. For example, insert molding eliminates the need to create threads on the plastic for attaching it to metal parts. By using insert molds, manufacturers can reduce the complexity of the manufacturing process and lower production costs, leading to improved profitability.

Design For Manufacturing (DFM) Analysis: A Strategic Approach

To achieve optimal results in injection molding, it is crucial to employ Design For Manufacturing (DFM) principles. DFM analysis involves considering various factors encompassing art, science, and technology to develop an efficient design that aligns with the customer's requirements and budget. By integrating DFM principles into the design process, companies can minimize injection mold costs while maintaining the desired product quality.

Maximizing Efficiency with Multi Cavity Molds and Family Molds

In medium to large production runs, utilizing multi-cavity molds and family molds can significantly enhance efficiency and reduce costs. These mold types allow for the production rate to be multiplied while simultaneously reducing the cycle time. By leveraging the benefits of multi-cavity molds and family molds, manufacturers can optimize the entire operation, resulting in improved productivity and cost savings.

 

How to Get the Most Reasonable Quote from an Injection Molding Company?

Different injection molding companies give different quotes on the same project. Then there are some questions we need to understand or ask to ensure the plastic part manufacturing process fits your project’s throughput and budget.

The following list of questions will make it easier for you to compare injection molding quotes from different companies:

  1. What materials do you use to make injection molds?
  2. Does mold manufacturing include design fees?
  3. What is included in the total cost? Are there any hidden fees?
  4. What is the order quantity for discount?
  5. What materials do you use to produce plastic parts?
  6. What services or post-processing are included in the injection molding quote?
  7. Do you only offer in-house injection molding or do you export molding?
  8. Can you provide cost examples for similar projects?
  9. Are sample parts available for inspection?

 

How to Find Cheap Injection Molding Services?

Are you looking for a plastic injection molding company? Whether you need hundreds or thousands of parts, injection molding is an effective method for producing rapidly replicating parts with high-quality surfaces.

Contact our Hing Tung experts today! We offer free estimates that can help you better understand which type of material is best for your particular component.

Hing Tung offers every injection molding service you could ever need, from low-cost injection molding to mass-produced parts.

Contact Hing Tung today for an injection molding quote for your project. Whether it's a simple injection molding project or one involving inserts or overmolding, we can handle it!

Injection Molding Services

Frequently Asked Questions

faq

What is the cost per unit of injection molding?

For a small batch of 100 pieces, the single cost is about 4 US dollars, for a medium batch of 5,000 pieces, the single cost is about 2.6 US dollars, and for a large batch of 100,000 pieces, the single cost is about 1.7 US dollars.

Is injection molding expensive?

The initial cost of setting up injection molding is usually more expensive as this will include the design and fabrication of the mold. This is why injection molding is only suitable for mass-produced products, as this will reduce the overall unit cost over time,

How to calculate injection molding cost?

Injection molding cost = (material cost + labor cost + management cost + mold cost + manufacturing cost + other expenses)

Which is cheaper, injection molding or 3D printing?

Injection molding is less expensive than 3D printing if you are producing more than 100 parts. While the unit cost remains relatively constant using 3D printing, the price of injection molding can drop significantly the more pieces are molded

 

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