Plastic and Injection Molding Industry Blog


Designing Your Product for Manufacturability

Posted by Mike Fil on February 21, 2018


Have you ever wondered why a plastic cup is shaped the way that it is? Take a look inside most plastic cups and you’ll notice that they’re tapered towards the center at the bottom.

Is it smaller at the bottom so that you can hold the cup more easily in your hand? Is the cup wider at the top so that it allows for more drinking surface when put to your mouth? Do cups have a tapered shape to them so that they can be more easily stacked?

Here’s why: cups are designed the way they are to make the manufacturing process easier and more economical.  In the industry we call this design approach ‘Design for Manufacturability’ (DFM) and it’s crucial for manufacturing a quality part.

You might be able to come up with a product or component that’s better than anything else on the market but that means next to nothing if it can’t be manufactured. Design for Manufacturability ensures that not only can your part be manufactured, but it’s also created at a reasonable price.

Plastic cup tapered design

How Can Manufacturers Help Design For Manufacturability?

As a service to our customers, Extreme Molding reviews CAD files and provides advice to help aid in the Design for Manufacturability of your product. Most good manufacturers will offer you this service for your product or component.

The main goal of DFM is to maintain the integrity of your product design while making the manufacturing process easier and more repeatable. The more repeatable a process is the higher the quality, faster the throughputs, and ultimately the lower the cost.

The Ideal Design for Injection Molded Parts

The ideal injection molded part design has a uniform wall thickness throughout the part. It also has features that are all in the direction of draw (the way that the mold opens when the part is being removed). The reality of having custom-designed parts means that these criteria are not always practical, but manufacturers often know the most effective way to design your components or parts.

When it comes to adding other features that require more complex geometries (with features in multiple directions) design for manufacturability plays a large role in keeping the mold design and the part economical.

Saving five seconds on each cycle by designing for manufacturability could lead to more dollars in your pocket. 

DFM Versus DFFF

Design for Manufacturability aims to maintain the integrity of customer designs while making it easier to manufacture. Another common phrase used in manufacturing is Design for Form, Fit, & Function or DFFF. This differs from DFM as it is more of a mechanical design concept – an engineer works with a customer to make sure certain features won’t fail at specific points, and can withstand certain stresses and strains. They also work to ensure the features resist impact.

DFM and DFFF should go hand-in-hand when designing parts and components to make sure that the parts meet your or a customer’s specifications while also making the part feasible and economical to make. Both of these are going to save you money in the long-run, resulting in a better product.

Although we cannot necessarily assist our customers with the mechanical design aspects for form, fit, and function at Extreme Molding we do have a wealth of knowledge and understanding when it comes to DFM. We’ll help you make your part in the most economical and efficient way possible, saving you money and time.

With over 60 years of experience in industry and business, our team is made up of experts. For more information on DFM and manufacturing your injection molding parts from designs get in touch.

Design to deliverable with Baby Banana Brush Injection molded example button 

Tags: USA Manufacturing, Injection Molding, Product Design