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Injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting material into a mold. Injection molding can be performed with a host of thermoplastic polymers that can include additives as metals. Material for the part is fed into a heated barrel, mixed, and forced via barrel/screw into a mold cavity where it cools and hardens to the configuration of the cavity.
After a product is designed, usually by an industrial designer or an engineer, molds are produced by a mold maker (or toolmaker) from metal, usually either steel or aluminum, and precision-machined to form the features of the desired part. Injection molding is widely used for manufacturing a variety of parts, from the smallest components to entire panels.
Parts to be injection molded must be very carefully designed to facilitate the molding process; material used for the part, the desired shape and features of the part, the structural material of the mold, and the properties of the molding machine must all be taken into account. The versatility of injection molding is facilitated by the breadth of end-user product design considerations.