Injection Molding: Your Life Would SUCK Without It!
Parts made with injection molding are all around you, and you probably don’t even know it. You brushed your teeth when you woke up? Your toothbrush was made using this technique. Your TV that you flipped on for the news? Parts of it were made using injection molding. Your cell phone that you carry with you all day every day? Parts were made with injection molding. Almost any mass-produced object will have at least some component made with injection molding, likely most of it. It’s ubiquitous, and has been since the late 1940s.
The basic idea of it is simple. You have a mold in the shape of a part, which you then inject heated liquid material into, (such as a type of plastic.) The material inside cools and hardens into the shape of the mold. You pop it out and there you go! You have a brand-new phone case. Or key for your keyboard. Or just about anything else you can see around you.
The history of injection molding goes back to John Wesley Hyatt back in 1872. Him and his bro Isaiah invented the first injection molding machine to make billiard balls, which had mostly been made of ivory up until that point. Over time the technology developed, especially during the 1940s with the demand for inexpensive, mass-produced products rising during wartime.
Without injection molding, mass-production in today’s context wouldn’t be possible. Everything would take much longer to make, (if it was possible at all), and be much more expensive. You know your 25’ tape measure? When you need it you just snap it out of its plastic case and measure. That was injection molded. It replaced the 10’ wooden stick that folded out. There’s the difference between injection molding and old-school manufacturing methods.
When people talk about inventions that had a profound impact on our lives, they rarely mention ol’ John Hyatt and his injection molding machine. But that stacks up right there with the telephone and combustion engine: our lives wouldn’t be the same without it.
Here at Eteros we are closing in on the release of our first BIG product, and it will include many parts that are injection molded. So we’d like to give a special acknowledgement to Mr. Hyatt. Thanks John, for changing the world!