In Mold Decorating, commonly known as IMD, is used to mold high-precision plastic parts with exceptional color and appearance. The process involves placing a decorative element into an injection mold and molding behind and around it. The decorative element becomes an integral component of the molded part. It is a form of insert molding, albeit a highly specialized one.
One type of IMD process involves the use of a heat transfer foil to deposit a pre-printed decorative element into the surface of a molded part. Developed by the Nissha Company in Japan, it provides all the benefits of injection molding with the added advantages of modern digital printing. It is one of the few manufacturing processes that allows for a true chrome finish on a molded plastic part.
These lens prototypes were made to explore the use of organic finishes in the second surface of the molded lens assembly. They were fabricated using various materials, including cellulose acetate, abalone shell, and wood veneer.