We have six seats of SolidWorks and considerable experience designing injection molded plastic parts. If you are in need of plastic parts here are some interesting points:
- A simple plastic case, say a case for an ‘Internet of Things’ sensor takes about a week to consider the design issues and design.
o If the part is very simple and low volume and you can handle a piece part cost of $2.50 each, it can be tooled with parts in hand in one week (!) for roughly $4,000 (for each part.)
o If the part is not so simple the cost doubles or triples and takes six to 10 weeks to tool but the piece part might be about $0.30 each, again for each part.
- The majority of local vendors are good. True, they have different strengths and weaknesses but it is never a problem to find a good local vendor.
- A common approach is to find an injection molding shop that has a quick, reliable, and well tested off-shore source for mold making, and, the in-house ability to receive the mold and modify it.
o Moving the mold local shortens the supply chain and improves the quality simply because it is easier to work with the molder.
- Complex parts can take considerably longer to design, prototype and test. It is not unusual to spend man months of time on this process.
o More complex parts require molds that cost $20,000 – $250,000 and can take months to make. Frequently, prototype molds are made before expensive tools are made, adding to the cost.