Injection Molding Shop

From i3Detroit
Jump to: navigation, search

Zone Information
Zone Name Injection Molding Shop
Status Active
Zone Slogan "Beyond 3D Printing"
Zone Coordinator(s) Thad Johnson
Zone Slack #injectionmolding
Zone E-mail

Zone Color DarkGreen
Paypal Button

Pay money to Injection Molding Shop


  • Thanks to Michael F. from the Lansing Makers Network for alerting i3 Detroit to the availability of these machines.
  • Thanks to Jim K., Roger S., Nate W., Brian W., for hauling these unwieldy, messy, heavy machines from an unlit pole-barn in Ionia to our space under a tight deadline.


  • Verify safety gate is functional
  • Always shut down the air/hydraulics prior to reaching into a mold
  • Take your time. Accidents happen because someone is in too big of a hurry.

Table of Equipment

Equipment Authorization Owner(s) Status
AllRounder 150 Yes i3Detroit Down
Arburg C4b Yes i3Detroit Down



ToDo List Notes

The intention of these ToDo lists is to maintain current answers to several different questions:

  • What do we need to do to make these machines a practical tool for our members?
  • How can I help with the injection molding project?
  • Is the project making good use of the shop space it occupies?
    • Is it making progress or is it stuck?
    • Does it have the specific resources/expertise it needs?
    • Does it have a practical roadmap to reach success? Refer to Dustins flow chart! Currently attached to side of BigBurg (Arburg 150)

What am I promising to do if I put my name in a "Champion" box?

  • Keep track of the status of that ToDo item
  • Help coordinate work on that ToDo item to avoid duplication of effort
  • Do as much (or as little) actual work on that item as your expertise and time allow.
  • Most importantly, if it stops being fun, make noise! Fail loudly! If you're not seeing the progress you want to see on your ToDo item, let people know, ask for ideas and help.

Injection Molding Shop Infrastructure ToDo List

Description Status Champion
Location Moved to east shop wall between kiln and paint storage Done
Storage assemble pallet rack along east wall, will require grinding,

possible bolts or welding to attach rails

Resin storage: Some resin is in bins, some in paper bags, some in jugs. Regular bins OK for our old resin stock. Acquire more airtight bins/containers/barrels when new resin is purchased.

Resin management: Labels and database for what resin and quantity we have.

Make a consumable log with weights on wiki.

Nate W - Labels on bin
Exhaust system Note that what may appear to be a vent pipe with a red funnel is actually a chute for parts to fall down.
Cooling water supply Acquired radiator chiller from TIG project. Inspect, assemble, make work.
Compressed air supply for the smaller machine Extend a line into the molding shop, tap into overhead lines - Currently a drop is attached to the Torqcut nearby. Could repurpose drop when machine leaves.
Electrical power Overhead drop to wall, 240V 18A 3PH rating on large hydraulic pump motor, heater power 220v 16A (8A/ea heater band).

Smaller machine is 110V.

Ted or Nate W.?
Hydraulic fluid spill management for the larger machine Sheet metal pan under the machine (proposed), automotive oil pan until constructed.
Wheels/casters for easy relocation of machines Small machine needs heavy duty and lockable wheels/casters/skid plates. - Casters acquired, attachment plates need welded onto machine.

The big machine has rubber feet for a reason, user death imminent!

Injection Molding Shop Support ToDo List

Description Status Champion
Arburg Documentation Arburg C4b manual (photocopy) is stacked on top of the machine. Roger S.
Safety: Oil, resin, people near hot surfaces. Fluids under high pressure. Rapidly closing molds.
Mold Design CAE (software tool chain?)

Copy existing mold design (where to find examples?)

Mold Fabrication Tool steel appears to be impractical for our shop.

Forged/rolled Al plate (specialized mold alloy) proposed. Alumold 500 is available from Alro. Expect to get many hundreds of shots with a conservatively-designed mold made from the right aluminum stock.

Process Control Temperature (two zones), pressure, cycle time, etc.
Reading List
Project plans/status/info on i3 Detroit wiki First injection molding wiki page (this page) has been started Dave S.

Arburg ALLROUNDER 150 ToDo List

Description Status Champion
Degrease more Grab a bucket of warm/hot water, put some purple power in it, wipe grease off machine.

Don't get water in the oil reservoir

Grease machine Find grease nipples and make sure they are lubed NateW
Move to new home Located between kiln and tool crib on east wall Done
Wire Connect the 2 220v lines to the bus bar, rewire from control box to motor.

Ted wants to run a pendulum drop, this would be ok if a 110v outlet is also on this drop for the CB4 Temp wired to disconnect on wall. Not ideal as this circuit also feeds the plasma table and kiln zone. Circuit will be overloaded if any 2 of these 3 machines are running at the same time. Talk to Nathan W. for details on future corrections.

Replace key switch Key cylinders removed, replace with new switch in future. Pliers work for now.
Figure out fuses for thermal controls (they appear to be missing)<- This was spare fuse holders. Done
Cooling Reservoir and pump, possible 5gal bucket. Acquired radiator chiller from TIG project.
Hydraulic fluid lost a bit in transit - should be ok at level to test, will need more soon 5-8gal aprox.
Lower barrel to horizontal position This can be left in current state for time being, we don't have a mold to run, can be tested without. Nathan W.

Will need help.

Test with or without mold, there is 1 mold that may work, needs cleaning/repairs Nate W.
Clean up small 6" mold to test

Arburg C4b ToDo List

Description Status Champion
Degrease more Grab a bucket of warm/hot water, put some purple power in it, wipe grease off machine. anyone!!
Grease machine Find grease nipples and make sure they are lubed Nate W.
Move to new home Located between kiln and tool crib on east wall Done
Electrical wires on machine: drooping/hanging wires, deteriorating insulation, replace main plug,

no wiring diagram as yet.

Cooling Open loop chiller. TIG Chiller project
Compressed air supply Route line down to machines. Tap off above line if possible.

Line at TorqCut nearby. Will reroute at later point when machine leaves.

Solenoids: Not engaging, could be a timer (controls on controller box) issue. Wiring is pretty rough, Need to determine if they electrically function. Done
Solenoids: Exhaust mufflers There are screw caps on the solenoids for caps or exhaust mufflers, most likely mufflers.
Thermocouple: Replace! Open circuit, currently working though should still be replaced. Nate W
Attach Casters Need to weld plates on bottom, then bolt on. Nate W

Tons of work still to go

Nate W

Project Milestones

  • First photo of the Injection Molding Shop with machines and supplies in place (Done!)
  • Electrical power supplied, machine turns on (C4b Done!)
  • Working pressure reached in hydraulic circuit with no visible leaks (working pressure reached in compressed air circuit with no audible leaks) (C4b Done!)
  • Cooling water flowing with no visible leaks
  • Stable temperature control observed (C4b needs new thermocouple !)
  • Melted plastic supplied to a mold (C4b Done!)
  • First example of molded plastic item using mold from the pole-barn. (C4b Done!)
  • First mold fabricated at i3 Detroit
  • First example of molded plastic item using mold fabricated at i3 Detroit