It sounds like a plastic-injected dream-come-true: produce finished (or nearly finished) products in one shot, with all the color, decorations and other elements already “baked in,” if you will. Roll Cameras! Film Insert Molding (FIM) produces finished decorated components by inserting semi-finished film items into the mold as part of the injection molding process. There are few products that can’t be produced with FIM; even components with complex shapes can be produced with alphanumeric symbols, transmitted light design and multi-colored two-dimensional decorations. Molders can even change decorations from shot to shot — just like in the movies!
Automotive heater bezel, Toyota Aygo
Thermoplastic-made items are asked to do a lot in today’s world. With FIM, these mandates go much further than the usual properties, such as shape and color. Today’s plastic injection molded products must feature complex surface features such as multi-colors, two-dimensional designs and alphanumeric symbols. And they often sport a surface coating that is abrasion-proof and scratch-resistant. This marriage of thermoplastic injection molded component and functional film creates a myriad of solution options since the surface of the thermoplastic component is only limited by the film utilized.
- complex-shapes, decorated surfaces
- flexible design options
- transmitted light design (day/night design)
To sum up, FIM makes it easy to design thermoplastic components in ways not ever possible before. Parameters that can be selected include decoration. (one color, multi-colored, integrated symbols, transmitted light design), surfaces (glossy, structured or matte) and gloss variations. No other plastic injection molding method allows for such extensive decoration change without stopping production, merely by inserting film with different decorations from shot to shot. FIM plastic injection molding is truly a game-changer in our industry. When combined with 3D-printing technology, FIM is the logical next evolutionary stage of thermoplastic product manufacturing, and will become more and more an industry standard.
Now that’s a “wrap”!