Typical Costs for an Injection Moulding Project

At the start of a new project a client will have an idea for a plastic part and they understandably want to find out the typical costs they are going to be faced with in order to manufacture it.  This will then enable them to see if the idea is worth progressing commercially. We have listed below the three main financial steps in the process of producing a plastic part.  They are the design of the part, the construction of the mould tool and then the production of the parts. We have also described and added a fictitious project below to show some indictive costs that might be expected and how complexity of the part can affect the tooling cost.


Design Costs

The design cost is influenced primarily by the starting point of the project. We have clients who provide fully drawn assemblies and we would typically just need to undertake DFM (Design for Manufacture) and feedback our findings to the engineer or designer about changes which are required due to specific requirements unique to our process. This is carried out free of charge once we are engaged on a project.

The alternative is when a customer only has a concept or idea which they require designing and drawing from scratch. Then this is paid design work and the value of this can vary depending on the complexity of the work involved.

A few thousand pounds would cover simpler single part designs. Designing multiple part assemblies can easily exceed £5000.


The cost to produce the mould tool is mainly influenced by the size of and the finer details of the part. It might also require multiple cavities to reduce part costs for higher production volumes or need to be hardened steel for running abrasive materials, both of which will affect the price.

To illustrate some rough costs and how complexity affects these costs a good example would be if we took a small 100mm x 100mm x 50mm electronics enclosure comprising a base and lid. For this simple box the mould tool would typically cost around £6000 and take 6 weeks to construct.

If it was then decided at the design stage to add some integral moulded pillars to support the Printed Circuit Board, some ventilation slots to cool the electronics and also some cable, connector or light cut-outs then the mould cost would be closer to £10,000 and typically take 8 weeks to construct.

If the client then decided that they wanted to avoid using screws to assemble the lid and base but instead wanted them to snap fit together. This additional detail would involve adding undercuts to the part and would raise the tooling further to around £12,000-£14,000 and typically take 10 weeks to construct.

You can see that the increase in complexity affects the tooling price substantially as there will be added toolmaking work in order to create the finished tool. It should be noted in this particular case that the production cost of the part would remain the same.



So a simple plastic part such as the small box described above will have three main cost elements which are the setup of the mould tool in the moulding machine, the raw plastic material content and the machine cycle time.

To continue our insight into typical costs we have assumed we are going to make our enclosure described above in ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) which is a very common plastic often used in electronics enclosures and household goods.

Typical costs for moulding 1000 boxes in White ABS would be:

  • Setup in 100 ton machine – £100.00 – 10p
  • 100g ABS Material @ £3/kg – 30p
  • Moulding, assembly and packing in a box – 41p
  • So typical costs would be 81p to mould this type of box.
  • Other cost considerations should they be required are transport, packaging, printing, labelling etc

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