Vinyl prototyping & design
What is dip moulding?
Dip moulding is a shaping process in which the shape of the product is created by dipping a mould into a liquid material. The advantage of dip moulding is that the product has no seams. Moreover, the moulds are easy to make, making dip moulding an affordable manufacturing process. Also, the time required to get from design to final product is many times shorter than, for example, injection moulding.
Caplugs has built up considerable expertise in designing and manufacturing dip moulds. We describe for you the process from design to vinyl prototype:
Before our engineers start working on a design for a vinyl prototype, we first need to know what needs to be protected. Then we can also immediately determine whether the plastisol dipping method is the right method for this application. Some of the questions that are important here:
- What should the shore hardness be?
- Should it be resistant to high temperatures?
- What should the wall thickness of the vinyl be?
Once we have determined all the characteristics and dimensions, we start working on the design. STEP-file PDF format often contain important information about the product to be protected, that is important when determining customisation, such as size and depth. Based on this document, the programme automatically calculates the diameter of the cap and the costs also becomes clear. In doing so, we indicate whether we can blow-dip the product or whether some other processing needs to be done, such as cutting a hole.
As for all processes, guidelines must be observed when designing moulds for dip moulding. Liquid PVC-plastisol cures when it comes into contact with a hot mould. Moulds for dipping are usually made of aluminium. We can easily produce both simple and complex moulds in-house on our fully automated CNC-machines. Thanks to our well-equipped workplace we can offer a fast and efficient service.
In most cases, the mould design takes into account the addition of roundings so that the product does not stick in the mould and release angles to prevent air entrapment. Including these kinds of specific features for dip moulding helps to ensure a uniform and high-quality product.
Once the design has been shared and you agreed on the drawings, we will start the prototype. What is the application of the material, what production method can we use? Sometimes a product is longer, thicker or bigger than the machine and oven. We also consider how many partridges will go on a rack and what the weight of an item will be. Should there be holes in the top of the cap or will it be cut off? For a vinyl cover, a mould is needed, this has to be ordered.
It doesn’t take long to make a prototype mould and several product samples. After about 4 weeks, the first samples are in. If the design needs to be changed, this can be done quickly at the prototype stage and at a market rate. Once the samples have been approved, the item is put into the system, along with the orders. We check whether the products fit into a box in cooperation with the engineer. The lead time is about 6 weeks until the order is received, after the customer agrees to the prices (unit price, tooling price, mould price).