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Questions about injection molding Injection molding - quickly to the perfect solution with aluminum tools

We produce the following variants, among others: Multicomponent injection molding by part rearrangement, sprue, tunnel or hot runner molding or complex parts with inserts up to approx. A5 projected area.

  • With 3D printing technologies: 2–5 working days
  • With plastic injection molding: 2-7 weeks

For many of our 3D-printing materials we either have material samples in stock or can produce them. Material samples are available as tension rods or technology sample boxes. You can order technology sample boxes here. For tension rods, please contact your Sales representative.

A key feature of surface finishing is the ability to give models and prototypes additional functions. For example, the surface can be protected against corrosion, and further enhancements can be made in terms of temperature resistance or durability.

Another advantage is optical refinement and thus the improvement of aesthetic and decorative properties. At 1zu1 we offer the following methods: infiltration, polishing, tumbling, printing, laser marking, vapor deposition/metallization, hot foil stamping and heatset impregnation.

A DXF file (Drawing Interchange File Format) is a file format for data exchange in CAD. This file format DXF file is integrated into the CAD program AutoCAD. This enables and performs data exchange between different types of AutoCAD executions.

The STEP exchange format (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data) is a standard for describing product data. It enables the exchange of three-dimensional graphics and product definitions in heterogeneous computer-aided CAD, CAM and CAE systems.

Parasolid is a modeling kernel for 3D CAD systems, originally developed by the company UGS and acquired by Siemens PLM Software in 2007.

There are nine cleanroom classes according to ISO 14644-1. These cleanroom classes are divided into classifications from ISO Class 0 - ISO Class 8.

Surface monitoring (contact plate samples) is a technique for determining the contamination of objects and people.

A pinpoint gate is a small gate with a small diameter in an injection mold. It leaves only a small, point-shaped gate on the compact injection molded part and can be easily removed by breaking it off.

The film gate is used for large-area parts. The wide flow front ensures optimum quality. The material flows uniformly into the cavity in one direction, thus preventing internal stresses and distortion in the injection molded part.

A hot runner or hot runner system is a type of sprue system used in the processing of plastics, particularly in the mechanical injection molding of thermoplastics. It is thermally insulated from the rest of the injection mold and has a higher temperature.

In tunnel gating, the injection molded part is gated from the side. It is then separated from the sprue when the mold halves are opened or ejected. The advantage of this is that there is automatic separation from the molded part. The disadvantage: high pressure loss.

The sprue gate is the simplest form of sprue. It offers the lowest flow resistance and is therefore mostly used for cavities that are difficult to fill. Disadvantage of the sprue gate: It usually has to be removed mechanically after demolding, and the sprue marking may remain visible.

When the injection-molding machine is in a vertical position, we can insert a wide variety of parts into the mold and overmold them.

The advantages:

  • We can overmold cables.
  • Make plug parts with insert pins.
  • Injection-mold multi-component parts.

Our Boy, Arburg, Demag and Sumitomo Demag injection-molding machines generate clamping forces ranging from 10 to 160 metric tons.

The production of the injection molded parts is carried out exclusively with the aluminum molds manufactured by us. These are manufactured using high-quality, reliable processes that meet the highest demands for precision of plastic parts, shape, material and surface structures.


3D printing
The fastest and cheapest method for prototype production is to use 3D printing . The starting point is a digital, three-dimensional model of the component that is imported from a CAD or 3D programming system. The data is transferred directly into the component without molds and tools, which saves costs and time. Prototypes can be produced in only a few days (fast availability). Further, decisive advantages of prototyping with 3D printing include the ability to implement changes at short notice, a fast learning curve and arrival at a series solution via a quick succession of iterative steps.

Injection molding with aluminum mold tool
If it is necessary that the production is based on the original material, the injection molding process with aluminum molds is also an option. Plastic injection molding
The chosen material is liquified and injected into a mold under pressure. 

Vacuum casting
In addition to these direct, additive processes, subsequent casting processes are also available (on the basis of a 3D-printed master model).
For 1zu1 prototypes, this is plastic vacuum casting with polyurethane casting resins.

Mechanical manufacturing
Another option for the production of prototypes is mechanical manufacturing.
Our turning, milling and lathe-milling machines enable us to produce complex models and components in original materials (e.g., PA6 GF 30, Grivory, etc.) within the usual rapid-prototyping time frames, which range from a few days to several weeks.

Design prototype 
A design prototype is used to verify aesthetic and ergonomic features. These prototypes/models fulfil three functions. Firstly, they enable detailed design studies (spatially realistic representation, proportions, aesthetics, haptics, technical functionality). Secondly, they serve as presentation objects for decision-making or clarification of acceptance by customers; and thirdly, they form the basis for generating the 3D data needed for design and production.

Functional prototypes 
These are prototypes that already exhibit the important functional properties of a subsequent series-production component. Among other things, the mechanical, electrical, acoustic or thermal functions of individual components are verified.

Geometric prototypes 
Dimensionally accurate models used for initial assembly and user trials, or to specify a requirement profile. The main focus here is on checking the form and fit accuracy as well as the tolerances. The material-specific properties are less important.

Concept prototypes 
These models are used to illustrate a particular concept or test an idea.

By using in-house manufactured aluminum molds and the entire subsequent injection molding process, iteration steps can be completed in an extremely short time, starting from the first injection-molded prototype up to a production run of 50,000 pieces or more. You are faster on the market with your product and profit by selling your products to your customers at an early stage. At the same time, the cost of aluminum molds is only a fraction of the cost of steel molds.

  • Applications with a total of up to 50,000 parts in the life cycle of a plastic part
  • For very small quantities of very few parts, it makes sense to select 3D printing as a production technology from the outset.
  • 3D printing: quantities of up to 1,000 are possible and, depending on the requirements of the component, also useful.

Pre-series are put into circulation for the first time by the customer. Later, these are always replaced by series parts. They are therefore used to validate a series, as final test parts for installation or for final functional tests. This should result in a release for series production with only minor modification.

Components manufactured under this term are put into circulation as series parts by our customers. It is important to note that “series” does not stand for the respective customer understanding of a specific industry. Instead, it is the 1zu1 definition for the type of output that can be provided at 1zu1 as a series part. It is therefore important that the customer's own quality requirements are always discussed and agreed with 1zu1 taking into account what we can offer in the way of quality assurance. Validation of the processes is possible.

1zu1 regularly tests new materials, processes/technologies, equipment etc. If the results meet our requirements, we add them to our portfolio.

We share our latest news with prospective customers via the 1zu1 newsletter. You can sign up for it here.

We also perform R&D and research on new materials for 3D printing and vacuum casting.

We monitor the entire market and continuously test new processes, materials and improvements to existing technologies.

Around five to ten times per year we inform our existing and prospective customers about the latest innovations at 1zu1 Prototypes. We will be happy to provide you with this information – you can sign up for our newsletter here.

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