Services: CNC Machining, Plastic Injection Molding, EDM, Assembly
Tooling Material: P20 tool steel
Injection Material: Plastic
Production Lead Time: 15 days
About The Project
This project began with the original prototype design that Star made from anodized aluminium. The client was delighted with the results of that project, but they wanted to try a new version that would save money on tooling and fabrication costs and deliver a more economical final product to the end user. After consultation with the client, we recommended plastic injection molding so we could make the Snuffmaster Lite from ABS plastic. ABS is a strong and durable plastic that’s able to handle years of daily use, and we would apply a surface texture to the finished parts that would help to simulate the look and feel of anodized aluminum.
The Snuffmaster assembly is made from three components: the case, the cover and the dispenser unit. In addition to those three pieces, there are four magnetic pins that hold the cover securely in place. After our engineers studied all the drawings, we were able to create a multiple cavity plastic injection mold tool that would mold all three components at the same time, further saving time and money.
Step 1: Mold Design
Although the three cavities were of different sizes and volumes, our tooling engineers carefully designed gates, runners and mold cooling channels to ensure that the parts formed and cooled at an equal rate to avoid warpage.
Step 2: Mold Making
Here an end mill is used on a multi-axis CNC machine to make the profile of the case in the mold core.The shape is the same as the original Snuffmaster but slightly undersized to account for the eventual thermal expansion of the plastic after molding.
Step 3: Testing
These pins were strategically relocated so that they performed their function without damaging the part or leaving a visible mark on the surface. This took a little trial and error before we got it just right.
Step 4: Finishing
It’s not possible to perfectly match the look of anodized aluminum on ABS plastic. The choice of colors is a good approximation and helps to keep costs down.