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Calculating Injection Molding Costs

Calculating Injection Molding Cost: Tips And Facts You Need To Know

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Injection molding is a popular manufacturing process for creating plastic objects, commonly used in industries like automotive, consumer electronics, agricultural machinery, and medical equipment. Normally used for mass production of thousands and millions of parts. The size and complexity of an item, the material used, the number of cavities in the mold, and other elements all impact the injection molding price. This guide will examine calculating injection molding costs: tips and facts you need to know.

Introduction: How Much Does Injection Molding Cost?

Injection molding costs range from under $1,000 to over $100,000 based on factors. These include molding patterns, materials, and volume. Overall, injection molding can be capital-intensive because of the high cost of mold tooling, which is normally made of steel. However, as production volume rises, the cost per item falls, making injection molding a rational choice for mass production.

The price of the mold is sometimes called the “tooling cost” and is the largest cost factor in injection-molded products. The cost of designing and creating a mold varies depending on the scale of production needed, the intricacy of the component design, the kind of materials used for the mold, and the mold-making technique.

Low-volume 3D-printed molds are made for a mere $100. At Zhongde, our injection mold cost start from $500, but designing and making complicated molds for large-scale production may cost $100,000 or more. The method offers inexpensive variable expenses because of the affordable thermoplastic materials, quick turnaround times, and gradually decreasing labor requirements. Labor, design and engineering fees, and shipping also influence costs. It’s essential to consult closely with a professional injection molding maker to choose the most cost-effective strategy for your specific project.

It’s vital to remember that when production volume rises, the cost per component lowers. It is due to the lower total cost per piece due to the tooling costs being dispersed over more pieces. Some injection molding businesses provide bulk discounts for significant purchases.

How Is Injection Molding Cost Calculated?

2. Mold Cost

The mold’s price depends on many variables, including its material, complexity, and size. Larger, more sophisticated molds cost more than smaller, simpler molds because they have more chambers. Steel is more expensive than aluminum, which is another factor that may affect the price of the mold.

A Grand View Research report estimates that the global market for injection-molded plastics was worth USD 265.1 billion in 2019 and is projected to increase at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027. The study also identifies the high cost of molds as a significant issue for the injection molding sector. These factors also affect mold costs:

  • Mold Manufacturing Process: The mold’s production method can affect the cost of a mold. The three methods for creating molds are CNC machining, EDM, and 3D printing. Every one of these methods has benefits and drawbacks, with CNC machining being the most expensive.
  • Type Of Injection Mold: The cost is also impacted by the type of injection mold. For example, although multi-cavity molds create parts quicker than single-cavity molds, they are typically more expensive. Like cold runner molds, hot runner molds are priced higher yet offer shorter cycle times and less material waste.

A Comprehensive Guide for Injection Mold Grades and Types

  • Mold Material: The cost is also impacted by the mold’s substance. Steel molds cost more than aluminum but are resilient and can endure higher temperatures.
  • Mold Complexity: The cost is also impacted by the mold’s complexity, which includes the number of cavities, undercuts, and parting lines. Molds with greater complexity often cost more to produce and require more time.
Mold Cost Factors
This picture gives you an idea of how the mold cost composition.

4. Injection Molded Parts

The cost of injection molding is impacted by the complexity and size of the part being produced. The cost goes up when making intricate pieces with complex shapes and designs, as they take more time and effort. Additionally, larger parts or volumes are harder to mold and require more resin, which makes the process more expensive.


  • Injection Molding Cost

The price of raw materials, labor costs, overhead costs, and profit margins only represent some elements that go into the cost of injection molding. You can get the cost per component by dividing the total expense of the injection molding process by the number of parts produced.


  •  Part Size

Another critical element when calculating the cost of injection molding is the size of the object being manufactured. The cost of the process is decreased as smaller pieces use less material and can be molded more rapidly and easily. Larger parts cost more to produce since they need more material and take longer.


  •  Part Design

The complex nature of the part design affects the mold’s complexity, which will impact the cost of tooling and the length of time needed for manufacturing. Parts with complex geometries or challenging characteristics, like undercuts or thin walls, will require more complicated molds and take longer to make, raising the cost.


  • Production Volume

The number of parts produced influences cost; higher volume runs often have a lower cost per component than lower volume runs. It is due to the high cost of tooling, which in larger volume runs is distributed over a greater number of parts, lowering the cost per part. The same high tooling costs will be greater per part because lower-volume runs have fewer components.


  •  Mold Cavitation

The cost of the injection molding process is also influenced by the number of cavities in the mold. More cavities in a mold allow quicker production of more components, which lowers the cost per part. However, producing molds with more cavities often costs more, which can raise the initial cost.


  • Injection Molding Cycle Time

The cost is also influenced by how long it takes to complete one cycle. More parts are manufactured per hour with shorter cycle times, which lowers the price per part. The number of parts produced per hour decreases with longer cycle times, but the cost per part rises.


  • Injection Molding Setup Costs

Injection molding setup expenses refer to the initial expense of making the mold and setting up the injection molding procedure. These expenses may be substantial, particularly for complicated parts or molds with many cavities. The cost per part gradually decreases by distributing setup expenses across many parts.

6. Additional Service

The price of injection molding is further influenced by other services like assembly, packaging, and labeling. The injection molding business offers these services in-house or contracts them with a different supplier. The complexity of the assembly, the materials used, and the length of time needed to accomplish the job all affect how much these services cost.

  • Surface Finishing: In the most essential phase of surface finishing, which comes after injection molding, any flaws or irregularities on the part’s surface are eliminated. The part’s surface is then polished, sandblasted, or painted. The type of surface finishing required and the part’s size and complexity determine the cost.

Exploring the World of Mold Surface Textures: Techniques, Standards, and Applications in Injection Molding

  • Secondary Services: After injection molding, supplementary services like drilling, tapping, and machining are necessary to finish the item. Assembly service may be required under some circumstances. These services, which depend on how sophisticated the required machining is, raise the part’s final cost.
  • Part Packaging: The type of packaging used, the size, weight, and number of the completed items produced affect how much it will cost to package them. The packaging must be specifically created to guarantee that the particular items are protected during transportation and storage.
  • Part Inspection Requirement: To ensure the quality of the components manufactured, finished parts inspection is a crucial stage. The number of parts produced, the level of inspection necessary, and the amount of time needed to conduct the inspection all affect the cost of the examination. The inspection involves functional testing, measurement inspection, or visual examination.

Calculation Of Injection Mold Price

There are many approaches to determining the cost of an injection mold. The customer’s needs should be considered initially since they affect the material selection and heat treatment method. The injection mold has to be priced competitively from the assessment to the contract, settlement price, and offer.


  1. Calculation by Experience


  • Mold pricing is calculated as follows: material charge + design cost + mold trial fee + profit & processing fee + transport & packaging fee + VAT, with the breakdown of each item being as follows:


  • Material charge: 15% – 30% of the overall mold cost. Create a basic mold layout after choosing the materials so that the mold weight, the formwork cost, the base material, and the thermal treatment cost are determined (the mold base weight). ;


  • Processing & Fabrication fee: 30% to 50%. Depending on the complex nature of the mold core, processing costs are often 1.5–3 times as expensive as the core material, while processing costs for mold bases are typically 1:1;


  • Design Fee: 10% to 15% of the overall mold cost;


  • Risk cost: 10% of the total price listed above


  • Moderate Trial charge, which can be kept at 3% for big and medium-sized molds and 5% for small precise molds;


  • Packaging and shipping charges are computed using the actual cost or 3%;


  1. Material Coefficient


The mold material cost is determined by combining the mold dimensions and the material cost.

  • Mold cost = material cost * (6~10)
  • Mold made of plastic = material cost * 6
  • The die-casting mold = material fee * 10

Low-Volume Production

  • Number of Parts = 100
  • Tooling Cost = $100
  • Mold Cost per Part=$1
  • Raw Material Cost= $0.5
  • Labor Cost Per Part = $2.5

Cost per part = $4

Mid-Volume Production

  • Number of Parts = 5,000
  • Cost of the Mold = $1000
  • Mold Cost per Part=$0.2
  • Material Cost = $0.5
  • Labor Cost Per Part = $1

Cost per part = $1.7

High-Volume Production

  • Number of Parts = 100,000
  • Cost of the Mold = $10,000
  • Mold Cost per Part=$0.1
  • Material Cost = $0.5
  • Labor Cost Per Part = $0.5

Cost Per Part = $1.1

In most cases, low-volume inejction molding is only reasonable with 3D-Printed molds. It is obvious that the higher production volume, the more expensive the mold cost. But the high volume parts will share the mold cost and reduce the cost per part. Therefore, high-volume projects have the best cost-effectiveness for injection molding costs. And this is one of the advantages of injection molding.

Why Should We Buy Plastic Injection Molding From China

Is injection molding cheaper in China? Yes! China is a great option if you’re looking for a trustworthy and affordable plastic injection molding manufacturer. You can count on Chinese manufacturers to fulfill your requirements with high-quality goods, flexible customization possibilities, and prompt shipping. They are also:


  • Cost-Effective

The cost of plastic injection molding services in China tends to be lower than in many other nations. It results from the affordable labor rates and accessibility of raw resources.


  • Quality

Chinese manufacturers invest in innovative equipment and technology to ensure their products satisfy the highest quality requirements internationally.


  • Customization

Chinese manufacturers provide many customization possibilities. They create molds of any size and shape and even help you create your product’s design to meet your unique needs.


  • Large Scale Production

China’s large manufacturing capability allows it to make plastic injection molding in enormous quantities quickly.


  • Delivery Time

Chinese producers are renowned for their short turnaround times, so your order will arrive sooner.

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For calculating injection molding costs, consider every factor that affects prices, including manpower, machine settings, material selections, and mold design. Manufacturers minimize costs by reducing material waste, improving cycle times, and investing in automation and innovative technologies.


Working with skilled vendors who offer precise quotes is essential for cost estimation. Manufacturers successfully navigate the injection molding process and get desired results at a reasonable price by following best practices and considering these factors.