The cost of a mould will vary widely anywhere from $2k […]
The cost of a mould will vary widely anywhere from $2k up to an over $300k based on a few main factors in experience…
The complexity of the part
The more intricate features, thin walls, and hard to mould features (undercuts etc.) a part has the more complex and precise the mould will need to be. This drives up the price.
The tolerances required
If a part has some particularly tight tolerances the mould will have to be “groomed” into specifications which can be a time-consuming process increasing cost.
The level of visual defects allowed
If you require smooth or specially textured surfaces on your part they will need to be polished or applied to the mould after machining also increasing costs. The more areas you can allow less than perfect finishes the lower the cost.
Where the mould is produced
Like anything else, labour costs figure into the overall costs. Countries like China will generally produce a near equivalent mould at a much lower price point than a US mould house.
The overall size of the part
The large the mould needs to be, the more material is required, the more time it takes to machine, thus the higher the price.
The number of parts required to produce
Small parts produced in high quantities will typically be moulded in a “multi-cavity” mould. Every time a single cavity mould is run it will produce one part. Every time a multi-cavity mould is run it can produce a number of parts, reducing cycle time an part cost but increasing mould complexity and cost. While part size relative to mould press capacity is a factor it is largely a balance between the cost of each part and the cost of the mould.
The material the part is made off
Certain materials have special requirements for heating, cooling, venting, and draft (angles on the mould to make the part easier to release). Materials requiring cooling mean cooling lines need to be built into the mould increasing cost.
The best way to determine mould cost is, of course, to have a supplier quote it for you.