Short Shots

A short shot is incomplete filling of the mold cavity, resulting in a partially formed or undersized part.


Short shots are a common defect encountered in injection molding, characterized by the incomplete filling of the mold cavity, resulting in partially formed or undersized parts. This defect not only affects the functionality and structural integrity of the final product but also leads to production delays and increased costs. Understanding the causes of short shots and implementing effective preventive measures are vital for manufacturers striving to produce high-quality molded parts. In this article, we explore the intricacies of short shots, identifying their root causes and providing insights into minimizing this injection molding defect.

Causes of Short Shots

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of short shots in injection molding:

  1. Insufficient Material Volume: Insufficient material volume in the injection unit can result in inadequate filling of the mold cavity, leading to short shots. This can be caused by low material levels in the hopper, inadequate shot size, or material blockages.
  2. Injection Pressure and Speed: Inadequate injection pressure or excessively fast injection speeds can prevent the molten material from adequately flowing and filling the mold cavity, resulting in short shots.
  3. Cooling and Solidification: Rapid cooling and premature solidification of the material can impede the complete filling of the mold cavity, causing short shots. This may occur due to insufficient cooling time or inadequate cooling system design.
  4. Mold Design and Venting: Inadequate mold design, including improper gate size or location, insufficient venting, or obstructions in the flow path, can hinder material flow and result in short shots.
  5. Material Properties: Material characteristics, such as high viscosity, high melt flow rate, or poor flowability, can contribute to short shots by impeding the material’s ability to flow and fill the mold cavity completely.


To minimize the occurrence of short shots and produce fully formed molded parts, manufacturers can adopt the following preventive measures:

  1. Material Management: Ensure an adequate supply of material in the hopper and verify proper material drying to prevent moisture-related issues that can impede material flow and cause short shots.
  2. Injection Parameters: Optimize injection pressure and speed based on the material and part design to ensure sufficient material flow and complete filling of the mold cavity. Conducting injection molding trials and analyzing process data can aid in determining optimal parameters.
  3. Cooling System Design: Optimize the cooling system design within the mold to ensure uniform and controlled cooling. This prevents premature solidification and allows for complete material filling.
  4. Mold Design and Venting: Ensure proper mold design, including appropriate gate size and location, adequate venting to eliminate air or gas traps, and a clear and unobstructed flow path for the material.
  5. Material Selection: Choose materials with good flow properties and suitable viscosity for the specific part design and injection molding process. Conduct material testing and selection based on the requirements of the application.


Short shots pose a significant challenge in injection molding, impacting part quality and production efficiency. By understanding the causes of short shots and implementing preventive measures, manufacturers can minimize their occurrence. Effective material management, optimization of injection parameters, proper cooling system design, thoughtful mold design, and appropriate material selection all contribute to overcoming short shots. By addressing this defect, manufacturers can produce fully formed, dimensionally accurate, and high-quality molded parts, ultimately improving customer satisfaction, reducing waste, and optimizing overall efficiency in the injection molding process.