All tooling, whether soft cast tooling or CNC machining is carried out in-house - allowing clients to modify & evaluate easily and quickly, without incurring huge costs or delays.
In all of this you are mostly only paying for time. The raw material and tooling cost can be significant in big mouldings - but in small mouldings the time is usually the bigger element.
If you are using a standard material that is running on one of our moulding lines then the test mouldings are cheap. If we have to shut down a line and fill it with new material this can take a day and so will cost more.
We are happy to give detailed advice for free of course but we think you will find our charges easy to live with.
We are best at 3D moulding in sizes from a tennis ball up to a pillow. We are happy to look at other things and indeed have projects underway outside these sizes.
In terms of bulk production, individual projects with mouldings up to 5000 units per day are normal (if you want 20 units that's fine as well).
Mostly we operate in flexible foam systems, but elastomers (PU rubbers) are possible depending on product design. We also have pressure casting equipment that can operate with filled polyester resin castings.
We have been known to go from concept to bulk in 3weeks - to achieve this everything has to work right first time (it usually doesn't)
If new materials are being used then this whole process can take longer - it can take us a while to work out the processing parameters of a new chemical system. Usually it's client apporval and decision making that slows this time line done.
To produce a CAD drawing can take a couple of hours or a few days depending on the complexity of the shape.
To produce a Stereolithography (SLA) model from the CAD file takes 3-4 days
To produce a resin master mould and a test moulding will take another 3-4 days.
To produce resin tooling for a bulk production run takes about a week.
If the decision has been made to go down the metal milling route, then this whole process can take longer.