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View Full Version : Is This a Plastic Injection Machine?



RobbieKnobbie
09-12-2010, 07:35 PM
In some recent travels I came across this little doohickey and it followed me home. My guess is it's a plastic injection machine, a very little one.

Can anyone (Liger Zero) tell me anything about what I've found here? Plasticor's web site doesn't seem to mention machine sales, just services and whatnot...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l166/robbieknobbie/105_1542.jpg

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l166/robbieknobbie/105_1545.jpg

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l166/robbieknobbie/105_1544.jpg

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l166/robbieknobbie/105_1543.jpg

Aside from firing hot molten plastics at myself, what can I do with this thing?

What other equipment do I need to make having this thing in my shop worth while?

Is it worth even keeping it, or should I find a way to turn it into a bench top milling machine?

Liger Zero
09-12-2010, 07:42 PM
You pour the plastic pellets into the tray, they fall into the pot. You clamp a wee mold using the lever, and by whatever means you fire the air cylinder to shoot the plastic-melt into the wee mold.

Then you take the mold out, open it up and figure out how to get the %%$$!ing part out without damaging it. :D

I will GLADLY take it off your hands... contact me via the private message function. :)

wb2vsj
09-12-2010, 07:43 PM
hmmm - How much did you pay for it?

Some guy on Ebay is selling one for $2100. :)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150372482811

Liger Zero
09-12-2010, 07:50 PM
That's a bit steep for this model.

Liger Zero
09-12-2010, 08:39 PM
Ok given the lack of reply from Mr. Knobbie I can only assume that he plugged it in turned it on and promptly injectioned himself into a mold. He is now trapped until someone comes by and opens the mold and lets him out.


...he will be missed.

*rummages through RK's tool collection* Oooh! Endmills! :D

RobbieKnobbie
09-12-2010, 08:43 PM
$2100? Yikes.

I'm not looking to get rid of it just yet. I need a chance to singe my eyebrows off with it first, then I'll be putting it out by the curb and I'll let you guys know at least half an hour before they come pick it up.
:)

What kind of plastic pellets do I stick in there? ground up coke bottles, shreded tires, chewed toe nails, or what?

Can anyone direct me to a good write up about what goes into a good plastic mold (besides plastic)?

Thanks!

RobbieKnobbie
09-12-2010, 08:47 PM
No, I haven't injected myself into a mold yet, and I'd appreciate your descretion in NOT handling my end mills, sir.

Dr Stan
09-12-2010, 08:52 PM
You can also use it to mold wax as the first step in lost wax casting.

Liger Zero
09-12-2010, 08:58 PM
$2100? Yikes.

I'm not looking to get rid of it just yet. I need a chance to singe my eyebrows off with it first, then I'll be putting it out by the curb and I'll let you guys know at least half an hour before they come pick it up.
:)





In all seriousness, let me know if you want to part with it. I have cash I have shipping resources. :)




What kind of plastic pellets do I stick in there? ground up coke bottles, shreded tires, chewed toe nails, or what?


Tire rubber is thermoset, it won't melt again. Coke bottles are PET, you won't get the same clarity on remelt but if your machine gets hot enough they might work.

I would contact a company like IASCO and get some HDPE or styrene pellets to try. In the end it comes down to the pressure it can generate and the capacity of the heat chamber to melt. Plastics can range from 290 to 600 degrees, styrene is a good place to start as is HDPE. HDPE can also be scrounged from milk bottles.




Can anyone direct me to a good write up about what goes into a good plastic mold (besides plastic)?

Thanks!
I PM'd you some advice. I will also put up some information on my forum shortly since I've gotten several questions of this nature recently.

In fact, could you post these pictures over there as well? :)

EDIT:

GENERAL ADVICE ON BENCHTOP MOLDING MACHINES:

http://plecostomus.11.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?p=137#137

10KPete
09-13-2010, 12:02 AM
Looked at your site LZ. Great stuff! I've always wanted to mess with injection molding but for now your site will keep me going......

Thanks,
Pete

RTPBurnsville
09-13-2010, 08:20 AM
Many of the high schools had that exact injection molder back in the day when they actually taught something useful in school. I still have a few of the coasters, bottle caps, and checkers that were made using them.

Pellets of polystyrene and polyethelyn were the two main plastics we used in those style machines.

As Liger mentioned, getting the parts out was always the interesting part. If you want to sell it, I would be interested as well.

Robert

Too_Many_Tools
09-13-2010, 01:14 PM
So those of you who own these machines, what do you actually use them for?

As others have mentioned they are worth some money and the demand is high for them, so someone is using them.

TMT

Liger Zero
09-13-2010, 04:08 PM
Well if you can master the epoxy mold technique you can take an existing one-off item and duplicate it dozens of times in plastic.

Liger Zero
09-13-2010, 04:11 PM
Looked at your site LZ. Great stuff! I've always wanted to mess with injection molding but for now your site will keep me going......

Thanks,
Pete

Feel free to join up. As I get more "internet cred" I will be purchasing some new benchtop machines to review at length, an I will eventually will do a "how to" for epoxy molds.

PeteM
09-13-2010, 05:07 PM
Anyone have an idea of what these small molding machines are worth? I have a small lever-operated one that seems to be in a never get round to using it state.

Liger Zero
09-13-2010, 05:10 PM
Anyone have an idea of what these small molding machines are worth? I have a small lever-operated one that seems to be in a never get round to using it state.

Ahem. :D

Let me PM you my shipping address. :cool:

Joking aside, :rolleyes: post some pictures of it on here or on my forum. Link in my sig.

ckelloug
09-13-2010, 05:51 PM
Liger,

You said epoxy! I have to come out from under my bridge now and commence trolling. I cast 1.2kg of epoxy samples this weekend. Now I need to test them!

I assume you are suggesting making a plastic injection mold out of high temperature aluminum filled epoxy like this Duralco 132 or 133? http://www.cotronics.com/vo/cotr/ea_thermallyconductive.htm

So would the idea would be to coat the object to be duplicated in mold release, appropriately position it in a mold block, cure the epoxy and bandsaw the whole mess in half to get the part out?

Liger Zero
09-13-2010, 06:49 PM
Liger,


So would the idea would be to coat the object to be duplicated in mold release, appropriately position it in a mold block, cure the epoxy and bandsaw the whole mess in half to get the part out?

More or less. There are mold-making epoxy mixes that are easy to cut.

What I did was make a frame, and pour the epoxy into each half. I then set the part in the epoxy then peeled it back out.

Got lucky on this part as it was thin and all the important stuff was on one side, the back was flat.

Once the epoxy cured I hung the mold and set the clamp pressure to minimum... and made 1,000 pieces.


If you wanna know :D it was a plastic game piece for a hardcore war-game fan. :)

Liger Zero
09-15-2010, 04:37 PM
Are you *sure* it's a six gram shot-size?

RobbieKnobbie
09-15-2010, 10:45 PM
No I'm not... and now I can't find where I saw that :o

Liger Zero
09-16-2010, 01:19 AM
I would say a quarter ounce/half ounce based on other machines I've seen. Six grams is... not very much at all. Once you factor in the runner that leaves you with MAYBE a gram or two for the part!

Too_Many_Tools
09-16-2010, 12:35 PM
Has anyone BUILT one of these injection machines?

I would think that one could easily scale up this design to have a nice injection machine.

TMT

Liger Zero
09-16-2010, 12:56 PM
I have a model in Sketchup for a cylinder.

You'd mount that on a frame horizontally, and thread the end to accept a standard Injection Molding Machine Nozzle.

Cut a hole in the top about 1/4 of the way down the length. This is your feed port.

Machine a ram out of compatible material (meaning something that is compatible with the barrel) and thread the end so you can attach it something...

...than something being a ram from a Horrible Freight press!

Now acquire heating bands and the associated control boxes from Watlow or your preferred heater supplier. If you want to get fancy you can drill a hole or two or three for thermocouples. Or you can run in open loop/power-setting mode.


In operation you'd pull the ram back exposing the feed-port. In here you pour the pellets, then you cycle the ram forward to "stuff" the barrel. Do this several times until you've filled the barrel full of material... then cycle the ram to "shoot" the material through the nozzle. Mate this nozzle to the sprue-hole on your mold and away you go!

For a clamp... Well I had planned on using a simple vice to hold the mold shut... but the more mechanically inclined could build something better.


The reason I never perused this is I have several "real" machines now, and also I can't cut threads without destroying lathes/chucks/tooling/stock/skin. :D

sconisbee
09-16-2010, 01:57 PM
Link in my sig.

OT but I noticed the URL of your link... perhaps there's a little suckermouth swimming around there somewhere? or is it just a random choice of url?

Liger Zero
09-16-2010, 02:15 PM
OT but I noticed the URL of your link... perhaps there's a little suckermouth swimming around there somewhere? or is it just a random choice of url?

I have several, they are my pets. Odd choice of pet I know... ;)

In fact...

Years ago I had an extensive Star Trek collection. Part of which was on top of my fish-tank. One of my ships (USS RELIANT) fell inside the tank.... Mind you this is a 3" model and a 14" suckerfish...

Fish put on a great show carrying around the model... chewing on it, trying to "blend in" with it by turning gray... It inspired a couple of short stories.

One of the short stories made it so far as a friend of mine who worked as a back-stage helper on the Star Trek TNG set... and he put me in touch with someone who worked with the writers.

Due to the yadda yadda and blah blah of the screen-writing process they couldn't use the entire story but they incorporated parts of it into an episode.

My payment? I got to go on set and meet LaVar Burton and Brent Spinner. That's what I asked for that's what I got. :D


That was the early 1990s, that fish has long since passed away, but it's decedent(s) are swimming in the three tanks at home and one in the office behind me. :)

sconisbee
09-16-2010, 02:21 PM
Not that odd a choice of pet;)

My prize L number, sadly no longer with us...
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g290/synoguy/l025.jpg

At one point a few years ago I had 172 species of catfish and 4 research papers in progress. unfortunately due to many reasons I now only have 3 species.

And just to avoid hijacking the thread completely, say you had a washer/spacer/ring to make and you had 100k of them to make from acetal, would plastic injection work suitably for it?

Liger Zero
09-16-2010, 03:07 PM
Not that odd a choice of pet;)

My prize L number, sadly no longer with us...
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g290/synoguy/l025.jpg

At one point a few years ago I had 172 species of catfish and 4 research papers in progress. unfortunately due to many reasons I now only have 3 species.

And just to avoid hijacking the thread completely, say you had a washer/spacer/ring to make and you had 100k of them to make from acetal, would plastic injection work suitably for it?


I put two suckerfish in the tank... past experience showed that they always fought to the death. I was attempting to demonstrate this fact to a friend. My intention was separate them once they started fighting.

Well these two just sat there nose to nose staring at each other, making the occasional bubble.

We got fed up and went downstairs.... I came back that evening and they had created a god-damn nest, filled it with an egg mass and one of them was sitting ON TOP OF THE EGGS while the other just glared at me.

Few weeks later I had hundreds of the damn things.

Never been able to tell the genders apart... but apparently THEY know the difference and that's good enough for me. :D



DANGER: RELEVANT TOPICAL DISCUSSION BELOW!

Washers can be tricky as they can warp on cooling. That may or may not be objectionable depending on your application.

Also there will be internal shrinkage of the hole, so be sure to make your core pin slightly oversize.

Then again depending on the material it could EXPAND, so you will have to experiment.

Notice I say tricky... not impossible. :)

Liger Zero
10-12-2010, 05:28 PM
*poke Robbieknobbie*

Hows it going? Get a chance to mold anything yet?

gwilson
10-12-2010, 07:34 PM
We have 2 of those. DO NOT MELT COKE BOTTLES INTO THIS MACHINE. It will not get hot enough to handle pet,and you will get a very clogged machine. I paid $150.00 each for ours.

Ours wouldn't get hot enough in the upper aluminum casting,and it wouldn't feed polystyrene pellets(you shouldn't use anything else).

I got some cartridge heaters from MSC,drilled some 1/4" holes in the upper part,just below the funnel. That helped very much.We

get styrene pellets from an Industrial Arts supply in Chicago. can't recall the name off hand. Everyone else wants you to buy a 55 gallon drum of them.

These were made to only shoot enough plastic to make a pocket comb as a shop project.

Rustybolt
10-12-2010, 07:37 PM
Has anyone BUILT one of these injection machines?

I would think that one could easily scale up this design to have a nice injection machine.

TMT


Yes. The Simplomatic company built thousands of them. We made parts for them. I think they went up to 1 oz. but I'm not sure. They used to be on Kedzie Ave. in Chicago. Since we parts for them in the thousands, I think they were poular.

Liger Zero
10-12-2010, 07:38 PM
@ Gwilson: Disagree. With the right knowhow and some upgraded heaters you can shoot some pretty elaborate parts. They are popular with the war-game community, mold your own miniature army sort of thing.

Also seen them used in production settings to mold wax parts for lost-wax casting.

Don't go expecting them to produce high tolerance parts out of PEEK though... you'll be very disappointed.