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This is a DIY bench-top plastic injection moulding machine which was conceived of, designed and made by me.
The innovative design saves space, weight and manufacture costs, by using a standard drill press in its operation. You will need your own drill press to operate this unit.
The unit is 250 watts, 220 volt mains. The capacity of the injector unit is 12,560 cubic millimetres, which is 0.766 cubic inches.
The injector can be used with HDPE (High Density Polyethelyne), LDPE (Low Density Polyethelyne) PE (Polyethelyne), PP (Polypropelyne), ACETAL, EVA, TPE, PLA, and ABS. HDPE is what milk cartons are often made of so this unit can use recycled plastic. This unit is not suitable for other plastics – either because they need too high a melt temperature, or because they emit toxic gases which are dangerous in DIY settings.
The injector head is made from stainless steel components, as is the plunger/piston. The support is painted mild steel. The temperature controller is all digital. The control box is plastic.
This video explains the design and shows the unit in action:
This is our third machine. Here are its predecessors:
A BIT ABOUT PLASTIC INJECTION MOULDING
Plastic injection moulding is a fascinating world. The principles are simple, and so is making simple parts, but you can take yourself on a long and rewarding learning journey too, with mould designing, parts designing and with learning how to operate the unit to get things exactly right. There’s art as well as science in here.
Mould can be made from metal (ours are aluminium) and these can be machined or carved or a combination of the two. Moulds can also be made from plastic resin, and in this case, casting around original parts for making copies is an exciting option too, and metal machining tools are not needed.
3D printers are an exciting modern phenomenon and if you’re handy with computers, they are ideal for single-part prototyping, but a single part might take 8 hours to print, so they’re not practical for making multiple parts, and the printers themselves are complex and expensive. I am already exploring opportunities for small businesses, based around short-run plastic injection moulded parts. In my case, my interests are around the horse world (electric field fence ties, for example) and I’ve thought about quadcopter propellers. I’ve also made plastic hose unions for my allotment irrigation system (see the second video link) and plastic threaded bolts, and stand-offs for electronic projects construction. Knobs, pen tops, clips, can all be personalized and produced in quantity easily.
As far as I am aware, there are no hobbyist injection moulding machines available for sale commercially in the UK. In the USA, LNS technologies offer two units at $595 (£400) and $1500 (£1000).
This unit unit is closer in style and in specification to their $600 model, but:
- mine has nearly twice the injector capacity (0.76 cubic inches as against 0.4 – you can make much bigger parts with mine)
- their injector parts are nickel-plated, whereas mine are solid stainless steel.
- I am UK-based – so delivery is fast. In fact, I don’t know if LNS ship outside the USA. They are here by the way: http://www.techkits.com/
- I also believe mine is a better design and easier to use.
I can accept PayPal or money transfer to my account prior to shipping or collection, or cash on collection by prior arrangement. Please ask for bank details when you have decided to buy.
I have allowed EBay offers, but I believe the asking price is very good value, so I won’t be accepting a great deal less than the asking price.
If you have any questions about the unit, please don’t hesitate to ask – I will be more than happy to answer them for you.
This item is currently on sale at EBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/201480444286
Paul Akers goes over the basics of applying FastCap’s Wood Fastedge (used for edge banding). For more information on the products used in this video, go to these links:
FastBreak Sander – http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=2472
Fastedge – http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/fastedge-peel-and-stick-edgebanding.asp
Flush Cut Trimmers – http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=287
Quad Trimmer – http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=12922
SpeedRollerPRO – http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=6
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Paul Akers is the founder and president of FastCap, based in Bellingham, WA. FastCap is an international product development company founded in 1997 with over 2000 distributors worldwide. A prolific inventor, Paul holds US and international patents. FastCap, launches approximately 20 new innovative products per year and has won business of the year multiple times. Paul and his wife, Leanne, have built FastCap from their garage into a multi-million dollar company. At its core, FastCap is a lean manufacturing company, determined to continuously improve everything, everyday. Our products reflect the idea that things can be improved and the best ideas come from the shop floor.
For more information on FastCap, visit FastCap’s website http://www.fastcap.com/ or
For more information specifically related to tech products, visit the FastCap Tech website http://www.fastcaptech.com/
For more information on Paul’s book and lean, visit the 2 Second Lean website http://www.2secondlean.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/2secondlean
For more information on Paul’s weekly podcast, visit The American Innovator website http://theamericaninnovator.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theamericaninnovator
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