Rethinking the injection molding machine

02/28/2011

Can one inventor change the way plastics is injection molded using a homemade machine from his basement? Rick Fitzpatrick, a molding veteran with tool design stints at the former Courtesy Corp. (now Rexam) and Capsonic, has long questioned the current molding model of large machines and large multicavity molds, and for the last 10 years, he has manifested those doubts in smaller machines that re-imagine the molding process. His goal: "getting to the size of a machine that actually prepares plastic economically."

"Why is it that an injection molding machine can cost $500,000," Fitzpatrick asked, "but I've got more control at my fingertip with a hot glue gun? Everyone looks at injection molding having to be all of these cavities, because everyone equates cheap parts with all these cavities, and they don't really understand the machine cost, the cost of floor space, the cost of labor to support that machine, so literally what you end up with are very high capital costs for marginal profits."...
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