When using a sheet metal fabrication service you obviously do not need to use a mold. However, if you decide to use a different manufacturing technique you will have to utilize a mold. This is the case with injection molding. These projects can be rather expensive, which is especially the case due to the molds. Below you can find more information regarding this subject.
How much does a mold cost?
This is definitely the most asked question in the injection molding industry. On top of that, the question is actually quite hard to answer. However, it will for sure start with a well designed CAD file. Although the well designed part is not always correct. Quite often slight changes have to be made in order to ensure that the CAD files will make the product injection moldable. In some cases this is done really easily by adding a draft angle for example. In other cases it may take more time because the file has to be completely redesigned so costly tooling needs are advised. The CAD file will therefore impact the cost of a mold quite a lot.
What are the other cost-driving factors?
The moving parts drive the cost of injection molding a lot. The more complex the parts are, the more complex the tooling is. Simple geometry thus means less work for the tool work. If you have a piece with deep pockets, like cups and bowls for example, it will require more time in machining. Parts with deep undercuts and complex geometry usually require slides, collapsible cores, and on occasion a third plate. Whether you decide to use raised or subsurface lettering will make a difference in pricing too. A good CAD designer is extremely important in this case, he/she can save you thousands on tooling.
Best and worst case scenario
You may be shocked that a low end injection mold can already cost over 10 thousand dollars. A high end example however will cost over 100 thousand dollars. Especially when you use steel you will have to pay lots for the mold. However, it is not just the steel costs. The hours and hours of machining time needed to ensure the mold can be cooled or heated cost a lot as well. This is also required to eject the pieces from the mold. This simply takes a lot of time and expertise, which costs money.