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The History Of Precision Injection Molding

The History Of Precision Injection Molding

Today, precision injection molding is a highly specialized industry providing parts with very tight tolerances and extremely complicated profiles. This is very different than the types of injection molding used throughout history, but it is a natural evolution of the technique.

There are many different considerations that go into designing the mold and choosing the materials for precision injection molding. The final use of the part, as well as the specific conditions under which it will be used, will all factor into both the design of the mold and the choice of polymers used to for the part.

The History

The first polymer was created in 1847 by a Swedish chemist by the name of Jöns Jacob Berzelius. However, it wasn’t until 1861 that an English metallurgist named Alexander Parks created the first liquid plastic which he named Parkesine.

Parks took his discovery of Parkesine and heated it to liquid form, placed it in a mold, and cooled it; removing the mold but having the Parkesine retain its shape. It wasn’t practical to make anything of it on a large scale. The resulting material was very costly and highly flammable. It also cracked very easily, something that limited the use of early plastic.

The first injection molding machine, which was far from today’s precision injection molding systems, was first put into operation in 1872. The original liquid plastic, with an improved formulation, was injected by a long plunger and syringe-like device into small molds. This was mostly used in the creating of plastic buttons and small plastic pieces.

It wasn’t until 1939 the more modern version of precision injection molding systems was created. This was a true injection molding press, and over the next ten years the systems were to evolve to allow more control over the process, allowing for smaller and smaller molds using different types of polymers.

The Future

With increased access to a range of different polymers and to the use of technology in the precision injection molding process, the designs continue to grow in complexity and in precision reproduction.

In the future, and with current advances in technology, even the smallest parts can be made through precision injection molding. They can even be created entirely using robotic systems where the part can be inspected microscopically for quality control as part of the process.

microPEP offer groundbreaking technology in our precision injection molding processes. To learn more about our design process visit us at

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