Tooling / Mold Making
As the name suggests, the prototype tooling is mainly made for new product researching and development or product improvement to get initial sample to evaluate the assembly and test the various functions of products to make sure all the potential problems will be fixed before the final mass production, or provide several real reliable quality samples to show potential investor to get enough capital.
Hord prototype tooling generally use hard aluminum or soft steel (e.g.1050 etc.) to make the core/cavity insert with shared mold base (called MUD system), plus the simplification on tooling design, it can be made within 3-10 days for almost prototype tooling. Compared with 3D printing, vacuum laminating etc. prototyping process and traditional hard production tooling, there is a lot of distinct advantages on our rapid tooling:
1, no material limited, almost normal production materials can be applied on our rapid tooling, it can be fully achieved the purpose of customer design products. There is no trouble to select material from prototype to final production. However, some material need a long lead time if there is no stock with our suppliers, so sometime we suggest customer to use similar material to make initial samples for mold trial, once we get the specified material, and then we run one more time samples to customer. Please check material list in our stock.
HordRT stocked materials list
2, our prototype tooling also can be grained, blasted, high polished etc. to match customer expectations on final product as same. The precision and quality of the samples produced by the rapid tooling are much better than those of 3D printing and vacuum laminating accordingly.
3, our prototype tooling life is usually guaranteed to 500 cycles at least. If the required number of prototype more than 50, the total cost of prototype tooling and prototype will be lower than 3D printing and urethane casting etc.
4, prototype tooling generally is very easy to make engineering change once customer want to improve their product design. There is just a little bit reasonable tooling change cost.
5, because our prototype tooling is very fast, so there is a big advantage on lead time compare with tradition production tooling, sometimes it’s shorter than urethane casting or CNC machining etc. for example, small open-closed prototype tooling, we can finish it within 3 days after DFM confirmed by customer.
6, Compared with hard traditional production tooling, prototype tooling is much cheaper and faster.
Of course, there are some limitations for prototype toolings:
1, mainly for injection molding part, sometime we also can make prototype tooling aluminum or zinc alloy die casting. But for aluminum & plastic extrusion, and silicone & rubber compression part, there is not too much advantage for prototype tooling compared with tradition production tooling.
2, there will be set-up cost for each batch of samples, because it need to operate with full procedure as normal production run, dry material, purge barrel, adjust molding parameters, inspect part dimensions etc. so for 1-50 pcs part per batch, there will be additional set-up cost for customer.
3, the product design need to be suitable for molding or casting etc. process, such as uniform wall thickness, reasonable de-molding draft, chamfer on sharp edge etc.
4, there will be inherent defects with tooling, like gate mark, parting line, ejecting marks, welding line etc.
5, compared to the traditional hard mold, tooling life will be shorter and there will be big limited on part precision.