What Is the Lead Time for Custom Plastic Molds?

MSI's plastic injection molding area

You can typically expect a lead time of two to 12 weeks for a custom plastic mold. However, it’s important to note that this lead time could widely vary based on many factors. 

From the part size and complexity to current workload and testing, here’s a look at what you need to know about the factors that influence the lead time of custom plastic molds.

Factors That Influence Lead Time

Part Size & Complexity

One of the most significant factors influencing lead time is the overall size and complexity of the part to be produced from the mold. Generally, it will take longer to create a larger part versus a smaller part. Similarly, the more advanced and intricate the design, the longer the lead time, while simple components can be produced quickly. 

A professional plastic injection mold maker can give you a better idea of how long the lead time of your specific mold will be based on its overall size and complexity alone.

Mold Cavities

There are molds that can produce a single part per machine cycle and injection molds that can produce multiples of parts per cycle—one cavity and multi-cavity—and lead times will vary depending on which one is required for your part. One-cavity molds can be produced with faster lead times on time-compressed projects, but part pricing will be higher than parts produced with multi-cavity molds. Multi-cavity molds take longer for your injection molding company to make, but they are more cost-effective from a price-per-part standpoint, and tend to condense lead times overall for large-volume injection molded part orders.

Customer Requirements

Outside of overall part complexity and the mold cavities, application requirements will often influence lead times. This is especially true if there are specific industry requirements that a part must comply with. In such cases, rapid prototyping is usually required so a part can be tested for form, fit, and function before the final plastic mold is created. 

Quality Control & Testing

A final key influencing factor is the need for quality control checks and inspections. Generally speaking, the more detailed the part, the longer it will take to test and inspect. The specific needs of the client and any industry specifications that a component needs to meet can also influence lead times at this step of the process.

It’s worth noting that a custom plastic injection mold can sometimes take up to four correction loops and several weeks of repairs and adjustments before the desired results can be achieved. Other variables that often influence quality control and testing include customer feedback, any follow-up on mold performance, and how in demand the specific part is.

MSI Mold’s In-House Plastic Injection Mold Capabilities

MSI Mold is a full-service plastic molding company specializing in rapid prototyping, defect-free custom plastic injection molding, and mold/tooling design. All services we provide are performed in-house right here in the United States. Contact us today if you have any questions about mold/tooling creation or to schedule a free mold design consultation.