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China Injection Molding Cost: Optimize your Budget

Published on: 2023-12-13

“China injection molding services have gained significant attention due to their quality and competitive pricing structures. It offers affordable molding services because of advanced machinery, expertise, and cheap labor.” 

Injection molding is one of the high-cost manufacturing in terms of initial investment. A majority of the budget goes into mold making. This pricing scenario does not exactly work for China Injection Molding Costs, where costs are optimized in every aspect. The injection molding prices are lower in China than in other regions because several factors determine how much injection molding costs. This comprehensive article will discuss the nuances of injection molding costs in China, different factors, tips on efficient budgeting, cost comparison with UAS/Europe, etc. 


Know about Injection Molding in China

Injection molding in China is a testament to the country’s manufacturing excellence, blending innovative techniques with economic feasibility. This process enables the production of diverse products in large volumes, making China a global leader in the plastic manufacturing industry.

The Basics of Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding

Injection molding is a primary manufacturing technique, that is efficient for producing plastic items. The process involves injecting molten material into a mold using high pressure. Once the material solidifies, it takes the form of the mold cavities, resulting in a precisely shaped final product. 

  • Material Selection: Choosing the right injection molding material, usually thermoplastics, for its moldability and durability.
  • Mold Design and Creation: Molds are intricately designed to precisely match the product specifications.
  • Melting Process: The chosen plastic is melted to a liquid state.
  • Injection: The liquid plastic is injected into the mold under high pressure.
  • Cooling and Solidification: The product cools and solidifies in the mold.
  • Ejection: The finished product is ejected from the mold.

Its ability to produce high volumes of uniform products quickly makes it a preferred choice in various sectors, from automotive to consumer goods.

Why China Leads in Injection Molding? 

There are three main reasons behind China’s leading in the injection molding sector, manufacturing infrastructure, technological advancements, and skilled but low-cost labor. 

Its large-scale infrastructure dramatically lowers production costs. It is possible because Chinese firms can handle high-volume production demands. China’s continuous investments in advanced technologies have a significant role in ensuring efficient and high-quality production. At the same time, the workforce adeptly manages these advanced processes, contributing to the sector’s efficiency.

Furthermore, China’s injection molding industry benefits heavily from government support and global supply chain integration. Government policies and subsidies promote sector growth, while integration into the global market facilitates easy export. 


What Factors Affect China Injection Molding Costs? 

In general, injection molding costs are influenced by several pivotal factors, including material expenses, labor and overheads, and the intricacies and dimensions of mold design.

Material Costs

The cost of materials in injection molding (plastics and additives) significantly influences the total project budget. Different types of injection molding materials come with varying properties and price points. For example, standard plastics like polyethylene are more affordable than specialized engineering plastics like acetal. Additionally, additives like flame retardants or UV stabilizers can enhance the functionality of the plastic but also increase the cost.

Table: Cost Comparison of Injection Molding Materials 

Plastic Type

Price Comparison









The diverse availability of plastic materials and additives in China aids in competitive pricing. Manufacturers in China can access a wide range of materials, allowing for cost-effective solutions that meet functional and durability requirements. 

Labor and Overhead Expenses

Labor and overhead expenses are other critical factors impacting injection molding costs. The complexity of the operation and the skill level required can influence labor costs. Operations that involve intricate molds or high-precision requirements may necessitate more skilled labor, which is typically more expensive. Additionally, overhead costs like facility maintenance, machinery upkeep, and utility bills contribute to the overall expenses.

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China injection molding costs benefit from a large workforce and efficient production practices, which can help reduce labor costs. However, the increasing skill level of Chinese workers and the ongoing modernization of facilities might lead to higher wages and overhead expenses. Despite these potential increases, China’s labor and overhead costs remain competitive on the global stage, offering cost advantages to businesses opting for Chinese injection molding services.

Mold Complexity and Size

Complex injection mold

The design complexity and size are significant factors in injection molding costs. Complex designs requiring detailed textures and fine features demand more time and precision in manufacturing, leading to higher costs. Larger molds with more cavities also increase prices due to more material and intricate machining.

Table: Price Difference in Complexity of Injection Mold 

Mold Complexity

Estimated Cost Range


$2,000 – $5,000


$5,000 – $9,000


$9,000 – $40,000


In this scenario, there is a notable capability to produce complex and large molds at relatively lower costs due to advanced manufacturing technologies and economies of scale. Chinese manufacturers have invested in high-precision machinery and skilled labor to cater to complex designs, making it possible to offer these services at competitive prices. 

RelatedInjection Molding Gate: Expert Insights on Design & Manufacturing 


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Injection Molding Cost Comparison of USA/Europe Vs. China

The global landscape of injection molding presents significant cost variations between the USA/Europe and China. The reasons behind this price disparity are mainly labor costs, material prices, manufacturing efficiencies, shipping & logistics, taxes, and environmental regulation.

  • Labor Costs: In China, labor costs are significantly lower, enhancing the economy of large-scale production. The USA and Europe have higher labor costs due to elevated wages and stringent labor laws increase project expenses.
  • Material Costs: China benefits from access to diverse affordable materials, reducing injection molding costs. Conversely, in the USA and Europe, material costs are generally higher, affected by local market dynamics and import tariffs.
  • Manufacturing Efficiencies: China’s use of advanced manufacturing technologies in large-scale operations aids in cost-effective production. In the USA and Europe, smaller-scale operations may not achieve similar cost efficiencies despite technological progress. 
  • Regulatory and Environmental Costs: China traditionally has lower regulatory costs, but this is evolving with stricter environmental regulations. In contrast, the USA and Europe face increased production costs due to stringent environmental and safety regulations.
  • Shipping and Logistics: For China, longer shipping distances and import duties add costs for companies in the USA/Europe. Local manufacturing in the USA and Europe eliminates these long-distance shipping costs and import duties.

A Real-World Example of UAS?Europe Vs. China Injection Molding Cost

Polypropylene Car Door Handle

Let’s compare the injection molding cost between the USA/Europe and China with a real-world example. The project is the production of a batch of polypropylene car door handles with dimensions 100mm x 75mm x 20mm,  CNC Machined mold,  and volume: 1000 parts.

Table: Injection Molding Cost Comparison UAS/Europe Vs. China

Cost Component China USA 
Labor Cost $2,000 $5,000
Material Cost $1,500 $2,000
Mold Machining Cost $5,000 $8,000
Shipping to USA/Europe $2,000 N/A
Total Estimated Cost $10,500 $15,500

China’s total injection molding costs are about 32% lower than in the USA. Labor and mold machining costs in China are 60% and 37.5% less, respectively, while material costs show a smaller difference of 25%.


How Does Injection Mold Life Reduce The Cost?

The lifespan of an injection mold directly defines the overall cost-effectiveness of the injection molding process. The lifespan mold refers to the number of parts it can reliably produce before showing signs of wear or failure. If the mold works longer, it reduces the per-unit cost of each component. For instance, if a mold costs $10,000 and can produce 100,000 parts, the mold cost per part is $0.10. However, if the same mold can produce 200,000 parts due to better machining and surface finish, the cost per part drops to $0.05. 

You can extend the Injection Mold Life by optimizing the design, leveraging advanced technologies( CNC machining and EDM), choosing hard and highly conductive material, and post-hardening. China Injection Molding Services uses CNC and EDM to enhance mold quality. EDM excels in achieving finer surface finishes and tighter tolerances. This precision contributes to extended mold life by reducing wear and improving part release. The post-hardening processes( quenching, annealing, etc.) increase the hardness of mold material, resulting in a longer lifespan.

Injection mold with smooth surface finish

A smoother finish of Injection mold reduces friction during the molding process, thereby minimizing wear on the mold. It is particularly critical in high-volume production, where the mold is subject to constant, repetitive use. A high-quality surface finish can also improve the release of parts from the mold, reducing the risk of damage to both the mold and the parts. 


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Tips to Budget Your Injection Molding Project in China

Budgeting an injection molding project in China requires a keen eye for detail, particularly in choosing the right supplier, analyzing quotes, and balancing costs & precision. Here are targeted strategies to help you manage your project’s finances effectively.

  1. Understand Material Costs: Research and compare the costs of different materials and additives, choosing those that meet project requirements without exceeding your budget.
  2. Evaluate Mold Design and Complexity: Opt for simpler, more cost-effective designs and assess the cost implications of design complexity.
  3. Consider Labor and Overhead Expenses: Investigate average labor costs for your project and factor in overhead expenses, as they can vary based on project complexity.
  4. Calculate Shipping and Logistics Costs: Obtain quotes from multiple logistics providers and consider the impact of shipping times on your project’s timeline.
  5. Factor in Quantity and Scale: Understand how the scale of production impacts pricing and balance the quantity to optimize cost-effectiveness.
  6. Account for Inspection and Quality Control Costs: Allocate the budget for thorough inspection processes and ensure quality control measures are in place.
  7. Plan for Potential Variations and Contingencies: Set aside a contingency fund and be prepared for adjustments in material costs or labor rates.
  8. Negotiate with Suppliers and Seek Expert Advice: Compare quotes from different suppliers for better rates and leverage expert advice to optimize your budget, considering a consultant for complex projects.


Metal Injection Molding Vs. China Plastic Injection Molding Cost

Injection molding is primarily recognized for plastics, catering to diverse industries, from automotive to healthcare and electronics. Plastics such as polyethylene, ABS, and PC are popular due to their unique properties. Their properties like durability and heat resistance make them ideal for diverse applications.

Injection molded metal parts 

While overshadowed by plastic’s popularity, metal injection molding holds significance. It values the material’s strength and durability. Metals like stainless steel, titanium, and nickel alloys are common choices. This method is essential for precision parts in the medical, aerospace, and automotive industries. The Injection Molding Cost for Plastic Products in China remains comparatively lower due to larger production scales and more affordable materials. Metal injection molding is also cost-effective in China, offering a viable option for high-strength, precision applications. 


Let us manufacture your Parts with Low Injection Molding Costs

At Prolean, we offer China Injection Molding Services that combine affordability with exceptional quality. Our approach ensures a seamless transition from the initial concept to the final product. We pride ourselves on delivering cost-effective solutions without compromising the standards expected in today’s competitive market.

Injection Molding Service

Our expertise extends to intricate mold design and machining, utilizing advanced CNC and EDM Services. It guarantees high precision in every component we produce, setting the stage for products that meet the highest industry standards. We create precise and durable molds, contributing to the overall reduction in production costs.

EDM machining service

Choosing Prolean for your injection molding needs means partnering with a team committed to excellence. We focus on reducing injection molding costs while upholding quality and precision. Our comprehensive services, from design to final production, are designed to meet your specific requirements, ensuring that your project is cost-effective and of the highest quality.

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Summing Up

China’s injection molding industry stands out for its cost-effectiveness and manufacturing excellence, offering a compelling alternative to services in the USA and Europe. The cost of injection molding in China varies on many factors, mold complexity, material, precision, etc. However, a small-volume injection molding project might cost $4000 to 15000. 

Understanding different dynamics and strategically planning injection molding projects can only optimize China’s Injection Molding Costs. Therefore, consider material costs, mold design complexity, mold machining expenses, and production scale to balance the cost, quality, and efficiency.



What are the primary factors affecting injection molding costs in China?

The primary factors are material type, labor costs, mold complexity, and production volume.

How does the cost of injection molding in China compare with the USA and Europe?

Generally lower due to reduced labor and overhead expenses.

What strategies can be employed to reduce injection molding costs in China?

Optimize design, select appropriate materials, and choose the right manufacturing partner.

Can small-scale businesses afford injection molding services in China?

Yes, it is absolutely affordable for small businesses. It offers flexible pricing and scalability.  

How accurate are injection mold cost calculators?

They provide a good estimate but should be supplemented with expert consultation.

Why choose Prolean for injection molding services in China?

Prolean offers competitive pricing, quality assurance, and tailored solutions.


  1. Henry

    I have ordered several custom plastic production from china based on my designs and no doubt china injection molding cost lesser than other region.

  2. Gabriel Popescu

    I am looking for aluminium molds for thermoplastic molding much time and cost for 340 x 90 mm size mold.

    • Dikendra

      Thanks for your interest! time will be around 10-30 days and cost vary on different factors, from complexity and precision to mold material (alloy_ type. However for the size you mentioned, it might be somewhere $5000 to 15000.


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