One of the more difficult things to do in injection molding can be quoting the mold required to make the part you have designed. I say can be, because there are some prerequisites that can make the process more or less advantageous for you.
When you request a quote for your unique injection molded part, you are asking for a quotation for a custom built, one of a kind mold AND a quotation for the part you’ve designed (and that that custom mold is going to make). Saying it that way, puts the emphasis where it should be, that the mold can be everything. Yet many companies focus on the component they have designed and its cost.
If you design a part and send it out for quotation, the first step is for a mold designer to envision a mold concept that will produce that part. That mold concept will have a huge impact on determining the part cost. The more complex the part is, the more thought required by the mold designer to picture the features and mechanisms that mold will need. Conversely, the less time the mold designer has to quote, the less thought that he can apply. As a result, your mold quotation hinges greatly on your component design, the time allowed to quote and your mold designer’s ability to envision a mold design. Mold makers are not in the habit of losing money on the molds they build. In order to profitably quote a mold, you have to pre-design a mold as close to the end design as possible to avoid cost overruns. The more features the mold requires, the more cost the mold pre-design has to account for. With less time to pre-design a mold, the designer will factor more contingency cost into the quotation. This contingency money covers cost details missed by the pre-design vision. Therefore, the faster you request a quote turn-around, the more likely your mold quotation will include these contingency costs.
The solution for avoiding this type of contingency scenario and getting what you are paying for is to collaborate with your molder up front in the component design. When you trust your molder and mold designer and they know that you will be working through them, they will not only provide input to make your part as moldable as it can be, but the mold design itself will be predetermined by the time the part is finished. The mold quotation will be a quoted fact, rather than an envisioned approximation and you get all of the mold AND the part that you are paying for.
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