Shapeways, The Community

The Marlyand Plastics Injection Molding contest

Together with Maryland Plastics we will have a contest to see if the creativity of our community can lead to excellent design in injection molded tableware. The winner of the contest will receive $300 in 3D printing from Shapeways.

The top 3 entries will then be evaluated by Maryland Plastics and if the designs meet their exacting standards they will offer the designer a buy out fee. This could mean an additional fee of $2000 for example. But this would depend on the design being injection moldable.. The design has to be injection mold able and fit into Maryland Plastics Crystalware line. You can enter the contest by uploading a model with the tag: injection molding to Shapeways. Your design will remain  your own property unless you decide to accept an offer from Maryland Plastics for the rights to the design.

So tired of all this boring unique, one of a kind stuff? Injection molding, is about millions of copies.

Rules to be Injection Mold able:

The easiest thing to do is pick up something that is made in plastic. You can even look through the Maryland Plastics Catalogs and see how it works. In most cases, a Mold is 2 pieces of steel, that are held together at high pressures, and liquid plastic is injected in the cavities. Then the 2 pieces of steel are pulled apart and the plastic pieces fall out. This can be seen on any injection molded piece. If you look at a plastic fork, there is a seam that runs along the entire perimeter of the fork. This is where the pieces of steel meet. On a plastic bowl or plate, it is usually along the brim. This seam is very important in your design. You must leave a way for the steel to escape.

 For example, this punch bowl shape. Think of 2 pieces of steel. How would you have two pieces of steel to make this design, and then be able to remove the plastic piece? It would require extra moving pieces and be extremely expensive. And when you go to buy plastic stuff, you don’t want expensive. In some cases a 3 piece mold is required.  

 

In the case of a coffee cup or pitcher, a 3 piece mold is acceptable. It is had to design a handle in a product that wouldn’t require a third piece. If you think about how the steel would need to escape from the plastic, you would see that one piece of the mold would be for the inside of the cup. Then you would need 2 pieces to move in from the sides of the cup to make the handle. If you just had a 2 piece mold, the steel would not be able to pull out from the handle.

Rules for Crystalware:

When you look through the Crystalware catalog, you will see many items ranging from platters to pitchers to plates. What we are looking for is one of two things. Something that will fit along with the items we already have. Or a design of it’s own that would look good in clear plastic. For example you like the design on the pitcher. You could make say cups that compliment the design. Or if you hate the design on the pitcher, and you think another design would look better.

Good luck guys!

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