If you know someone who's inventing some small-sized plastic gadgets, John Warobi has the ideal Christmas gift: their very own hand-operated plastics injection molding machine! The model 20A PIM-Shooter from LNS Technologies fits nicely on the kitchen counter with its compact size, and operates from standard 110V AC and consume less than 200W of electricity.
To maintain accurate temperature setpoints, it includes a dual-display digital temperature controller with thermocouple feedback. Despite its compact size, the model 20A is a very capable machine, according to Warobi, LNS Technologies president. The injector features a heated barrel with a manual ram and a full 0.5 cubic inch resin shot capacity. It works with steel, aluminum or epoxy molds and can operate with a variety of plastic resins including ABS, acetal, LDPE, PP, PS, PVC, and TPEs. In the field, a user would attach the PIM-Shooter (essentially an injection unit) to a drill press, tightening the shaft into the drill press chuck.
Out of necessity, comes invention
Warobi told PlasticsToday in an interview that the company's primary business is making electronic and robotic kits for schools and students. "We were trying to get a special gear part for one of our machines but couldn't get it commercially," explained Warobi. "So, we decided to mold our own gear parts, but couldn't find a molding machine in our price range, under a thousand dollars. Since we have a machine shop and make machines anyway, we decided to make our own molding machine."
Warobi said the little machine was up to the gear molding task and could fulfill a broader role in the low-volume molded part market. "Then it dawned on us that there may be a hole in the market for a low-cost machine to do prototype parts, to test your parts in different materials, or just mold parts when you need low volumes.
The model 20A PIM-Shooter sells for $595 and includes a sample aluminum mold and 10 oz. supply of polypropylene pellets and pellet dispenser, purging block, safety glasses and gloves so you can begin molding as soon as you get the machine. "That's an offshoot of our kit business," said Warobi. "When we sell a kit to a student or a school, we include all they need so they can actually use it without buying extras.Ultimately the people that buy the molding machine will get their own mold, but at least they can try it out when they get it."
Molding your own fishing lures
LNS has already sold several of the PIM-Shooter injection molding machines, primarily to people making their own fishing lures at home. But he believes inventors are a great market to sell the PIM-Shooter into as well. "We were right about there being a niche for a machine under the one thousand dollar price point," Warobi added.
Warobi said the model 20A PIM-Shooter can be ordered through the company's web site or if you want more information about this table-top molding machine, you can write to the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.