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Thread: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    6

    Lightbulb Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    Hello,

    I started a DIY kit company a couple months ago and we are looking to scale production of a particular tool from our prototype design.

    The tool is essentially a 4 in x 4 inch x 1.25 inch block with 8 apertures. It's a fairly simple design, currently in .STL format that we've been using to 3D print the prototype(s). I need to find the cheapest and fastest way to make ~500 of these. I think injection mold plastic is the way we want to go, but would consider silicone as well depending on cost and time. The next order would be ~5x times the size, and then so on.

    Does anyone have any recommendations, in terms of suppliers/manufacturers, that I could reach out to achieve my goal of getting this initial run done ASAP at the best possible cost. Tooling prices in the US, from what I can tell, are far from ideal given our current size and budget. If someone has a recommendation for a domestic company, we'd love to go with then, but would be just as open to recommendations of foreign providers that are fast, cheap, and reliable.

    Thanks so much for any feedback.

    Sincerely,

    Fledgling Start Up Who Needs Help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    131

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    If you are based in the US I recommend keeping the design in the US unless you want your design to be copied and/or reproduced. Check out

    https://www.protolabs.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    6

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisprocess View Post
    If you are based in the US I recommend keeping the design in the US unless you want your design to be copied and/or reproduced. Check out

    https://www.protolabs.com/
    Haha, too late. I sent an NDA but they don't care. I'm not sure how they would sell just the tool on its own, given that it's just a component of an overall kit. The fees are lower but MOQ for this Chinese supplier is higher. Protoloabs is about as good a solution, not significantly better. Debating getting a couple 3D printers for now. Still struggling...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    maybe,we can help you.I come from China.Please contact me if you have any intention.Email:chengshina@163.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    McMinnville, OR
    Posts
    103

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    My dad is a rep for several molding companies. You can email him at david@connxsource.com. He is here in the US

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts
    123

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    At volumes of a few hundred to a few thousand, you are probably better off getting the parts machined. That avoids tooling costs until you have some cash flow, plus a CNC house can probably work right off the .STL files.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    6

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    I've tried this route but it didn't seem as cost-effective as vacuforming. Do you know of a particular machinist that could help?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    6

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    okay thanks, I will email you. Can you email me as well? avram.niebling@gmail.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    6

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    Thanks, I'll try reaching out. He can reach me as well at avram.niebling@gmail.com...thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    4

    Re: Please Help! Phase 1 Production Troubleshooting and Manufacturer Referral

    Camcar plastics does a lot of low quantity. Located in Muskegon, Michigan. Check them out.

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