We’ve written this little Injection Moulding Tooling FAQ to deal with some of the common questions we get asked about injection moulding tooling projects. We’ll be adding to the list as we get them in. Please don’t see this as trying to put anybody off, we’d just like to make sure that we’re the right company for our potential customer and vice versa, which is better for everybody.
Is it better to get my part 3D printed?
Unless you’re testing a part, prototyping something, or your part is exceedingly small (a few grams), 3D printing is not a production process. This is unlikely to change for quite a while.
I want to get a tool made but I’ve only got a small budget, can you help?
We work with production tooling only which don’t tend to come in under £3500 for most needs.
What does this “impressions” thing mean?
Injection moulding tooling can make multiple parts per cycle. A 4 impression tool makes 4 parts every cycle – often taking little or no extra time from a 1 impression tool. If you’re making lots of parts, then you want to get a multiple impression tool made because the part price is primarily made up from the cost of the material and the time it takes to make it. More impressions = less machine time = less cost. The extra impressions can cost extra but often that extra cost can be absorbed in the savings made over a year on the part price.
Hint, if you’re only planning on getting 500 parts made, you’ll go for a 1 impression tool, if you’re planning on 20,000 parts you’ll almost certainly want a multiple impression tool (8, 16 +)
I only want to get 100-200 parts made, can you help?
As a production company we’re not really kitted out for small runs like this. If it’s an ongoing job we’d be happy to consider it but if it’s a one-off it’s unlikely we’ll accept the work as we just don’t have the resources to deal with small batches. On smaller quantities the setup of the machine (tool change, material purging, material drying, testing etc) is absorbed into the part price, so often it’s not really worth your while getting less than a thousand parts made anyway. There are other companies that are better suited to deal with this setup and I hope you don’t feel upset with us if we say no to the project!
I have a few questions about this thing for my studies, can you help?
We’re a small company and I’m afraid we have little time or resources to deal with enquiries that aren’t relating to projects that contribute to the company financially.
I have a part that I need your input on design on, can you help?
Right now, we’re not set up to work as design for manufacturing consultants on our customer’s projects. We will offer advice to our customers if we see there are some issues that are obviously wrong with the part, but we do not accept responsibility for any extra tooling costs involved if you’ve not design your part properly for manufacturing.