Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bridge Mold?
What is Bridge tooling?Our Rapid Injection molding process bridges the gap between prototype and production. With our industry leading process, we can build your mold and ship an unlimited quantity of parts until your multi-cavity production tooling is ready. Our rapid injection tooling produces production quality parts.
What is the difference between Prototype and Bridge Molds?At XME there is little or no difference between Prototype or Bridge tooling. If you know that you are going to want to support production with your prototype or Rapid Tooling just let us know and we will configure an Automatic Tool and determine if extra cavities are necessary to support volumes. Our injection molds may be all you need to support the life of your project. Typically production steel molds are needed where volumes get to be over 100,000 parts annually.
What is Rapid Injection Molding/Tooling? Do not be fooled by the term. Rapid injection Molding and Tooling just means it gets done faster primarily this is achieved through the process. Some companies claim rapid tooling and injection molding but sacrifice quality, and are limited to parts with little detail and no undercuts and also their molds might have a limited life expectancy to how many parts they can produce from the mold. At Xcentric Mold & Engineering, we put the RAPID into tooling and injection molding, completing most jobs 15 days or less regardless of detail and undercuts. As for quality, we are a ISO 9001:2008 certified company and we put no limit on the quantity of parts produced from our injection molds.
Are there limitations to Rapid Injection Molding/Tooling?No! At XME we do not cut out any steps from conventional tooling or molding. By use of common mold components, state of the art equipment and a well trained staff coupled with an unsurpassed process flow, gives us the competitive edge over our competition and the ability to call our Injection molding process Rapid.
What is Rapid Prototype?
Rapid Prototype is a process known as SLA or FDM where no tooling is needed to produce a plastic part for visual and functionality close to that of which will be used in the injection molding process. All that is required to make these parts is a STL file generated from customer 3-D data, preferably STEP file of the solid model. Because these parts are built in layers, they are not to be used as production parts but offer good fit and functionality testing. The customer can usually have these parts in hand in 1-5 days.
What is the typical cost of Rapid Injection Molding/Tooling?Because of the Rapid Injection Molding Process that XME has employed, lead times are greatly reduce, allowing us to provide you with the most competitive quote in the industry. Request a quote now and you will have a quote reviewed by our professional quote team in 24 hours or less.
What is a Manual Tool?
Manual Molds that produce parts with undercuts such as windows or clip will require side action before being removed from the mold. These undercuts can significantly increase the cost of tooling. At XME we are able to manufacture what we call hand pulls(see ill. Below) to reduce the cost of tooling. However, this will require a molding machine operator to run the parts as the hand pulls are ejected with the part then the operator removes the hand pull that forms the undercut in the part. He then loads the hand pulls back in the mold and another part is made. This is a cost effective approach up to 5,000 parts. If more than 5,000 parts are required we recommend investing in Automatic tools because Part piece price is higher on manual molds.
What is an Automatic Tool?Where larger quantities (5,000+) are required we recommend Automatic Molds. By use of cam actuated slides the part is free to be ejected once the molding machine has opened. This type of mold is more expensive and requires an initial investment. However, the piece price is lower and the cost of this type of tooling is absorbed in the higher quantities ultimately resulting in overall cost savings. Here at XME we help you to make this decision.