What is overmolding?
Overmolding is the injection molding process where two materials can be bonded together to encapsulate electronic components for protection or other components – like wires or metal rods, to provide a better user experience by improved look and feel of the final product. There are other names for overmolding which can be considered as distinctive technologies: 2K (2-shot) molding and insert molding. Even though, insert molding and overmolding appear to be the same and identical processes, 2K molding can be considered as overmolding which has 2 stages – molding a base and molding a cover.
What is micromolding?
Micro-molding is a highly specialized technology of micro-machined and micro-structured molds used in precision injection molding. When tooling is performed within micron or submicron scale tolerances and when the weight of a molded part is a fraction of a gram, or its micro-property ranges from 50 µm to 5 µm or less it is considered to be in a micromolding range.
Micromolding can go ‘small’
However, micromolding can also be used for non-micro parts but rather for small plastic components molding. This technology can perfectly fit in the low-volume manufacturing gap when small parts are needed. Because micromolding usualay uses small machines and small aluminium molds it is possible to use it for small components molding.
What is small plastic component?
Usually it can be considered that small plastic part is that, which can fit on your palm or more precisely – can fit in 100mm diameter sphere and not exceed 15cc in volume. Such size parts can be used with aluminium micro molds, micro molding machine and thus enable creators become more resilient.
Insert molding with micromolding
Overmolding is no different. It can also be used with micromolding machine if its size is under the aforementioned requirements. One might has thought that prototyping and low-volume production is needed only for traditional molding but not insert molding. Micromolds has many cases where big companies customize their electronic components and use micro overmolding for low-volume production. Wires, cables, switches can from now on can also be overmolded in low-volumes without huge tooling costs.