To eliminate the risk of costly and time-consuming mold repair or remake for product volume production, rapid prototype prior to mold making is indispensable for product development. Disregarding mold fabrication cost and time, as a high custom rapid manufacturing service, rapid prototypes cost much much more than its end products made by mostly injection molding since their different manufacturing methods, and this article analyzes the main reasons why this for reference.
Different Material Cost. Additive Manufacturing (AM) prototypes material cost is calculated by gram, which is extremely expensive, especially the metal ones. CNC prototypes waste lots of material that is cut away, generally more big and complex of the prototype, more material the CNC prototype will waste. The product material is calculated by kilogram, and the injection molded products waste nearly zero material. So prototypes material costs more than product material.
Different Manufacturing Cost. Compared to the uniform manufacturing step of injection molding the products, rapid prototypes manufacturing includes the steps of material preparation, CNC programming, CNC machining, surface finishing, custom packaging, which involved much more labor force and time than injection molding the products. So prototypes manufacturing cost is much higher than products production.
Different Surface Finishing Cost. Injection molded products generally have the intended surface quality from the mold cavity and just need to usually remove the injection gate marks. For rapid prototypes manufacturing, especially the transparent and appearance ones, it needs to take lots of labor and time to make them properly. So rapid prototypes surface finishing costs also much more than the product surface finishing.
Different Manufacturing Time. Injection molding one product usually takes less than one minute, usually around 40 seconds, rapid prototypes take usually over one week. So rapid prototypes take much more time than products.
Different Management Cost. Since the consistently uniform manufacturing step of injection molding production, the injection molded products take very low management cost. Rapid prototypes usually involve many manufacturing steps, which bring much more management cost.
No matter rapid prototypes manufacturing or end products production, labor cost takes the majority of their price, since rapid prototypes take much much more labor cost and time than the end products, so rapid prototypes are much more expensive than the products. As a professional rapid prototyping and low volume production supplier in China, the cheap and abundant labor force here allow us to offer worldwide customers the quality rapid custom manufacturing services economically and quickly.