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When producing molded parts, tooling costs can account for a considerable portion of your production budget. Tooling refers to the manufacturing components and machines needed in the production of a part. Depending on the size and complexity of your part, costs can get as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars on tooling alone. To avoid blowing your production budget out of the water, consider implementing these effective ways to reduce tooling costs in part design.
Choose Aluminum Over Steel
One way to significantly decrease the tooling costs of your project is to choose an aluminum tool rather than a steel one. In comparison to steel, aluminum is far more economical and can save part manufacturers tens—if not hundreds—of thousands of dollars on tooling.
That said, aluminum tooling is also far less durable than steel. Thus, to use aluminum tooling, you will need to choose a part production process like reaction injection molding that does not require extremely high temperatures and pressures.
Reduce the Complexity of Your Part Geometry
Another way to reduce tooling costs in part design is to simplify the part geometry. Parts with more complex features such as differing wall thicknesses, encapsulated items, or curves generally have much higher tooling costs. By simplifying the geometry of your part as much as possible, you can help reduce the overall tooling costs of your project. Of course, this may not always be an option, but it is something to consider during your part’s design process.
Reduce Tool Changes
Reducing tooling changes can also help cut down on tooling costs when manufacturing a part. When you change the tooling used to create a part, the manufacturing process must come to a halt. Such delays generally result in increased production expenses that can have a substantial impact on the overall cost of your project. To keep costs as low as possible, try to minimize tool changes throughout the production process.