Design Tips

Get quick advice on creating plastic, metal, and elastomeric parts for 3D printing, CNC machining, and injection molding processes. Designing with manufacturability in mind can accelerate production time and reduce production costs.


5 Ways to Improve Moldability

We've learned from experience that, before production begins, there are important design elements to consider. These may improve the moldability of the parts, and ultimately, reduce the chance of production delays, cosmetic defects, and other issues.



Walls in any molded plastic part should be no less than 40 to 60 percent that of adjacent walls, and all should fit within recommended thickness ranges for the selected material.

The deep-rib approach (left) shows a box designed with walls as rubs, resulting in higher a cost to machine and polish the mold cavity. With the core-cavity approach (right), the box allows features to be milled with a faster cutter, and is easier to polish. This saves you time and money.

How Draft Keeps Your Drink Cold

When developing parts for plastic injection molding, applying draft (or a taper) to the faces of the part is critical to improving the moldability of your part. Without it, parts run the risk of poor cosmetic finishes, and may bend, break or warp due to molding stresses caused by the plastic cooling.

Talking Cosmetic Defect Blues

Identifying potential cosmetic flaws like sink, knit lines, flash, blush and other issues early in the injection molding design process not only improves the appearance of your parts, but their overall moldability too.

Design Essentials

We've compiled our most essential manufacturing tips into three downloadable design guides on 3D printing, machining, and molding. Each looks at improving manufacturability, reducing production costs through design, material selection, and more.