Toys for boys (and girls too of course) | Breakthrough Funding

Monday, June 6, 2016

Toys for boys (and girls too of course)

MANUFACTURING - The story of throwing away too many plastic soldiers.

The problem

To make plastic model making kits and toy soldiers, most manufacturers use the age-old practice of injection moulding. You make a model that you know the market is going to like, then get a toolmaker to produce a steel tool that’s precision-machined to produce the exact form you need. You heat up some thermoplastic polymer, put it in the mould cavity, it cools and there you have a toy soldier. The production process is usually computer controlled and produces thousands of items at a time. For small run production, most of the surplus are wasted and are sent for recycling. You could use a 3D printer, but its very slow and not really applicable to a commercial production run.

The solution

This company has developed a new process for making short run plastic models using new materials for tool making. They have managed to optimise the numbers required to sell in their market and substantially reduced their plastic waste.

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