The recommended mold configuration and molding process depend on the size and complexity of the part, anticipated production volumes, type(s) of material involved, part function and quantity requirements.
The key is to select the mold design and process that most closely approximates actual production conditions and cost requirements. The more demanding the part design, the more critical it becomes that we build the prototype cavity just as we would a production cavity. The upfront investment in a more costly mold may pay for itself very quickly through lower material costs or more improved handling procedures.
A two-part, single-cavity mold is typical for prototype quantities of up to 200 pieces, though two-to nine-cavity molds are not uncommon. The real advantage of a single-cavity mold is that it lets you change part design or material at minimal cost before committing to production.
For more information on mold design and process selection, see “The Molding Process.”