Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is a process that efficiently merges powered metallurgy and plastic injection molding. Die casters heavily relies on this process because it is capable of producing large quantities of precise complex parts with metals that are not suitable for die casting such as stainless steel and other low alloy steels.
Machining process also enables die casters to produce the same results. However, the process of machining works by removing unwanted particles or materials from the working component. Manufacturers start with a piece of the metal component and work on it until they achieve the desired geometry. Below are a few key differences between machining and Metal Injection Molding that will help you figure out which one will be the suitable choice for your requirements.
The process of machining offers better flexibility, design freedom, and limited intricacy to the finished product. On the other hand, MIM provides unique complexity capabilities and geometry to the finished product. As the metal components get more complex, the process of MIM becomes a lot more cost effective. This is because machining time is higher for complex metal components.
Both of these processed yields stronger finished parts. Most of the MIM components fail to endure the internal pressure or machine induced stress that may gradually result in potential part failure and deformation over time. However, the molding of the MIM components with the help of multi-side or conventional machines makes them a stronger solid component.
The complexity of the molding part is tied to the mold investment in the case of an MIM component, which means that the mold or tool itself is complex. On the other hand, adding complexity during machining will increase both the process time and cost.
Material scrap will not go to waste when manufacturers implement the MIM process. This means that switching to MIM metal shaping process rather than implementing the machine process will help you to make most of the material scrap. This will in turn help you save plenty of money in the future.
MIM process is capable of producing long quantities of metal components in desired shapes in a short span of time. However, machining process can only produce comparatively less number of components. So, you will have to use more machines to create more components, which means that you will have to spend more money for big projects.