Manufacturers of micro devices have difficulty creating and maintaining reliable manufacturing processes due to expensive machined components, the need for highly skilled labor, and complex secondary operations for assembly. These methods of manufacturing place limitations on size, complexity, material selection, production yields, and profitability.
Micro molding enables designers more flexibility in designing smaller, more complex devices. Micro molding can reduce or eliminate dependency on the microscope to assemble the device and lead to higher production yields.
Our micro molding processes achieve tolerance targets on complex components that conventional molders cannot maintain. From prototype to high-volume production, we streamline the manufacturing process to create a more robust and reliable design for manufacturing.
Our micro molding technology has a range of abilities that include:
- Using high-performance plastics such as PEEK, PPS, PEI, and LCP
- Maintaining dimensional tolerances of +/- .005 mm (.0002 in)
- Accurate components weighing less than 0.1 g (.0035 oz)
- Implantable and non-implantable components
- Wall thicknesses as low as .08 mm (.003 in)
- Lens (optical) quality components
Some of the most common micro molding materials we work with include (but are not limited to):
ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
PEEK: Polyether Ether Ketone
LCP: Liquid Crystal Polymer
TPU: Thermoplastic Polyurethane
PPS: Polyphenylene Sulfide
PET: Polyethylene Terephthalate
PPS: Polyphenylene Sulfide
PBT: Polybutylene Terephthalate
Micro Molding FAQs
What is micro molding?
Micro molding is the tiny-scale molding component of insert molding or injection molding. Micro molding gives designers more flexibility in designing smaller, more complex devices. Micro molding can reduce or eliminate dependency on the microscope to assemble a micro device and can lead to higher production yields.
Why is it necessary to use a specialized rather than conventional molder to make a micro part?
Conventional molders are not equipped to produce the precision necessary in making a micropart. Our micro molding processes achieve tolerance targets on complex components that conventional molders cannot maintain.
Is specific equipment required for micro molding?
Yes. The manufacture of microparts typically uses injection molding machines under 30 tons; anything larger makes it difficult to control such small shot sizes. Micro machines allow for reducing residence times (which keeps plastic material from degrading in the barrel) because the shot sizes are so small.
How precise is micro molding?
Micro molding is a high-precision process that can produce wall thicknesses as low as .003 in (.08 mm), maintain dimensional tolerances of ±.0002 in (±.005 mm), and create holes as small as .0046 in (.12 mm, or about the thickness of a human hair).
What materials can be used in micro molding?
We work with high-performance thermoplastic materials such as PEEK, PPS, PEI, and LCP; as well as biodegradable materials, and magnetic materials used in gear assemblies. We can also work with sampling custom and proprietary compounds of our customers.
Does Mikrotech offer prototype molding?
Yes! We can help our customers figure out if and how their design concept works through our prototype tools. We offer our own mold base and cost-effective materials to test the feasibility of our customer’s design concept and prove whether it actually works.
Does Mikrotech offer production molding?
Yes! Our production tools include multiple cavities that enable us to mold multiple quantities of various components. Our production tools are made of hardened stainless steel, which is required for many medical tooling applications and is a durable material that holds up over time. Mikrotech provides tool maintenance for the life of the project.