There is rotational molding, compression molding, and blow molding, as well as spray-up molding.

3D Printing

CAD or 3D printing technology allows for the rapid creation of plastic molds using digital CAD data.


The technology can produce small molds in a matter of minutes, although larger designs may take longer to create. The added advantage of this technology is cost savings compared to conventional steel molds. With 3D printing, it is possible to make molds with fine details and high dimensional accuracy. This method is especially suitable for large-scale tooling and molding applications. The three-dimensional printed molds will allow for a reduced cost and shorter lead times.


For the majority of plastic products, injection molding is the method of choice. Although the process can be time-consuming and expensive, it is a cost-effective alternative to expensive aluminum molds.

Aluminum Molds

Unlike traditional aluminum molds, 3D printed plastic parts are fully solid, isotropic, and can withstand the pressure of the injection molding process.


Plastic Injection

While plastic injection molding is still a popular method for large-scale production, 3D printing allows for innovative design implementation in a matter of hours. In addition, 3D printers offer low-cost entry and can be used for any part.


The process also allows for testing, feedback, and variations. And unlike injection molding, 3D printing technology does not require an upfront investment.

3D printing and CAD technology

3D printing and CAD technology can save mold costs for smaller batches and components in the development stage. These technologies can be used for prototype construction, cost-effective plastic molds, and more. Injection molding machines can produce many parts at a time, reducing the amount of time it takes to produce large quantities. Additionally, 3D printed plastic parts are easy to paint and decorate.

Plastic Molds

Plastic molds are a valuable way for people to experiment with new concepts. By using CAD software and 3D printing, molds can be created with a prototype-like design.


The cost of a plastic mold depends on the complexity of the design and the size of the plastic part that needs to be made.

Larger Molds

Larger molds require larger CNC machinery and building space and will be more expensive than smaller ones. While some plastic parts have a direct cost-to-size relationship, others may have a ‘crossover’.


The cost of an injection mold can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. This cost is significantly lower for simple molds without complicated designs or shapes. However, more complex molds can run upwards of $50,000 and more. The cost for these types of molds increases considerably once production quantities reach a certain point.

Molds are costly to make, but the process itself can be costly. It's important to have a sample plastic part before a mold can be created. This sample can be a drawing, prototype, or 3D image of the plastic part.
Different companies can offer different quotes, and the final price can vary greatly. The cost of a plastic mold can easily exceed your initial estimate, so it's important to get multiple quotes before making your final decision.

Plastic Part

After this, the mold maker will create a mold for the plastic part based on these specifications. In order to avoid overpaying for a mold, contact several mold manufacturers and get a price quote.Using plastic injection molding is the most common method for mass production of plastics. Learn more about how to use this process by viewing Bill Hammack’s video.

Small Injection

The final product should be smooth and free of visible bubbles. For example, a small injection mold with a complex design will cost more than a larger one with a simpler design.