In the process of manufacturing, the term injection molding prototype can refer to two distinct things. An injection molding prototype can be a custom injection molding part. The term can also refer to the original part used to create an injection mold from which duplicate parts may be cast. In either case, a prototype is usually either a singular part or a part from an early series of developed products.
The first usage of the term refers to products of the injection molding process. These parts are usually one of a kind and created for a specific purpose. The injection molding prototypes produced in this manner do not require mass production, and the production numbers are limited.
While the first usage of injection molding prototype is fairly straightforward, the second requires a bit of explanation. The prototype used to create injection molds has been employed since the early history of injection molding. Similar to the lost wax method of casting, injection molding prototype casting utilizes the original prototype to shape and form the injection mold. Machines force molten plastics into a mold made in the exact negative of the original injection molding prototype. By creating molds in this way, an exact duplicate of the original part can be made.