Plastic Thermoforming Mold: Information about Male Vs. Female Molds

Plastic Molds: male mold vs female mod

Male Vs. Female Molds – 

In the world of plastic manufacturing, mold is an essential part to manufacture components. The material is poured, formed, and takes shape inside a mold during the manufacturing process.

Conventionally, mold is of two types; male and female. Male molds tend to have thermoplastic sheet placed over them, and female molds grow to have placed thermoplastic resin inside them.

Male molds are used extensively when the plastic component’s inside dimension is the most significant matter. On the contrary, female molds are used predominantly when the outer dimensions are more important than the inner dimensions.

Let’s have a detailed look at both types of molds and find out their applications in the best way possible.

Plastic Molds: Male Molds – 

Plastic Molds: male vs female mold

Male molds, in general, are inexpensive compared to female molds. They have a higher gloss on the outer surface. Components manufactured using male molds usually retain their original color and texture.

As the plastic sheet shrink in size when cooled, during the molding process, so for smooth removal of the produced components, drafts should be facilitated at the sides of the mold.

Male molds need bigger drafts than female molds because of component striking or jamming, while ejection is more common in male molds.

In general, components would have a more rounded appearance with limited surface detail.

Fascinating Read – What is Warpage? | Causes of Warpage | Warpage Variations

Plastic Molds: Female Molds –

Plastic Molds: male vs female mold

Most of the characteristics of female mold are quite the opposite to male molds, as a higher gloss on the inner surface, need for smaller drafts for the ejection of components (In most cases, a draft is not even required), inexpensive to buy, and maintain, sharp exterior detail is possible.

Because of female mold’s ability to create components with sharper exterior details, it is extensively used to make in-build logos, ribbings, and recesses.

Also Read – What is a Parting Line? | Parting Line in Injection Molding | Importance of Parting Line

How to Improve Material Distribution in Male and Female molds?


Talking about male molds, components made by them have thicker corners, so for smooth material flow, and distribution pulling a bubble to pre-stretch material before the contact is advisable. As discussed earlier, for female molds, the bottom corner is thin, so using a pre-forming bubble with the help of a heated plug assist will improve the material distribution quite significantly.

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The Takeaway – 

Plastic mold variations both male and female are made for slightly different purposes. Knowing the applications properly would increase anyone’s chances to manufacture quality products.

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