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HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
Hello there !

As the title says, I'm looking for tips/ways/threads that can help me and that process. I have created a product, that can be 3D printed, and most probably be mold injected (a unit is 15cm Hx 6cm Wx 2cm T), working on a 3D design on Focus 360 as I type this). With everything I saw, regarding mold injecting, it's extremely expensive, and I can't afford to go there, yet.

How and where do I start, for like the first 1 to 100 units (I'm considering 3D printing, as of right now) ? I can't believe that, to test a product, I have to go straight balls to the wall and throw 25 000$ at a mold and see if there's a market after that !

I have started the process to look locally (Quebec, Canada) for 3D printers, to get my first units, and start advertising it (maybe Kickstarter too ?), to see if there IS a market (mock-up website, running ads, see the feedback/lack of it, etc),
If yes, then what ?

I just email MFGs and be like "hey I have this product to make, it needs to do X Y Z. What kind of polymer do you guys recommand for the requested applications, and at what cost ?"
And in general, do I just go Google > "Mold injection manufacterers China" > boom get a quote > ?????

I'm somewhat lost here.

Anything can help ! Throw it at me, let's have a discussion !

Thanks for the help, and for your time :)

(I can give a description of my product as well, in a following message, if it can help)
 

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Last edited:

Lyinx

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I've seen other sites that people print from their garage and ship to you... or consider going to a makersspace in your local area (if you can get in) and printing there...
I don't have a lot of info, but sharing what I can... I've had products molded with $14,000 molds... the cost is pennies per pc... so it quickly becomes worthwhile instead of paying $.75 + per pc to have it 3d printed
 

BrianLateStart

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There's other methods between getting it 3D printed and injection molds. Difficult to say without seeing how complex your parts are or what their function is. Urethane casting is a way to get parts similar to injection molded at a much cheaper price. Might be an option for small batches.
 

HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
I've seen other sites that people print from their garage and ship to you... or consider going to a makersspace in your local area (if you can get in) and printing there...
I don't have a lot of info, but sharing what I can... I've had products molded with $14,000 molds... the cost is pennies per pc... so it quickly becomes worthwhile instead of paying $.75 + per pc to have it 3d printed
Thank you for the ressource ! I will definitively add this to my research !


There's other methods between getting it 3D printed and injection molds. Difficult to say without seeing how complex your parts are or what their function is. Urethane casting is a way to get parts similar to injection molded at a much cheaper price. Might be an option for small batches.
The majority of the product is pretty simple, but there's a jaw-like part, that doesn't move at all, but you could think of it like a opened mouth velociraptor (I know, it's weird but it's the easiest way to vaguexplain), so it has "teeth". Could it be too complex for that production method ?
 

BrianLateStart

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so it has "teeth". Could it be too complex for that production method ?
Probably not too complex. The real problems are when the part has to have certain physical properties that the cast material isn't capable of. A cast plastic part might not have the strength or durability needed. Or the real parts need to be food safe plastic or dishwasher safe. If the part isn't performing any difficult physical need then it would probably work just fine.

Xoemetry says they can give instant quotes for urethane castings and other processes. I've never used them, but I did use Fictiv to injection mold 3 covers and a spacer for my production parts. When you upload the parts, it will give suggestions as to what geometry in your model may make the mold more expensive (needing slides and lifters to product mold). The molds weren't as expensive as I was expecting them to be.
 

HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
Xoemetry says they can give instant quotes for urethane castings and other processes. I've never used them, but I did use Fictiv to injection mold 3 covers and a spacer for my production parts.
Thank you so much for the information ! I will (once my 3D modelling technics are refined, and my design is adequate to start a small scale production) contact them !
 

Kid

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Yes, you can ask Chinese for quote.
Write, ask and see what they'll say.
 

BrianLateStart

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once my 3D modelling technics are refined, and my design is adequate to start a small scale production

It may benefit to upload models early to find areas you may need to fix before you get too far along. It's an automated system, you're not wasting someones time. I upload my models all the time as a design check. With Fictiv, someone from sales will send an email (pretty sure it's automated too), but they're very low pressure
 

maverick

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Another avenue would be to create a project on Upwork and search for a 3D modeller that has access to their 3d printing facilities. You can get them to just create a small batch for your to validate your idea.
 

maverick

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Not knowing the product but I've validated a business idea I had. I wanted to create a foldable soccer goal similar to Shop BazookaGoal | Solid Frame, Pop-up Soccer Goals

What I did was:
  1. Sketch out the most important features of the goal (e.g. should be portable, not too heavy, should not fall over when you score a goal, should never be caught by the wind). Your requirements as you will.
  2. Post a project on Upwork looking for a smart inventor / 3D modeller that can take your requirements and submit their ideas on how to satisfy all of the requirements. I've attached the PDF that I got when I was working through this example.
  3. Work together to determine which one makes the most sense to test. Maybe you choose multiple. Get them to build a 3D model out of it including all hinges etc.
  4. Create the prototype. Again, dependent on what the product is, you can select the material to use for it. If you just want to validate an idea you can use cheaper materials (e.g. plastic). I used 3d printed parts to test concept 1 and 2.
  5. Get the parts 3D printed at your local 3D printer. This will cost extra but printing is cheap anyway. You will find out what works and what doesn't work for your prototype. My hinges were no strong enough, the screws were too short and all sorts of other issue. Iterate over this a few times until you have a solid prototype.
  6. Get the prototype in front of your customer. Search for a real customer, don't just ask your parents / brother / uncle because it's convenient. Find someone that has a vested interest in finding a product that will solve their issue. If your product is not solving an issue, I can't save you lol.
  7. Have some fun - the journey is the best part.
My product never made it to production. I made 25 prototypes which I sold for under cost price. Getting the product manufactured at a price point that made sense would have cost me 30-40k to set-up the molds etc so I looked for a different opportunity.
 

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HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
Not knowing the product but I've validated a business idea I had. I wanted to create a foldable soccer goal similar to Shop BazookaGoal | Solid Frame, Pop-up Soccer Goals

What I did was:
  1. Sketch out the most important features of the goal (e.g. should be portable, not too heavy, should not fall over when you score a goal, should never be caught by the wind). Your requirements as you will.
  2. Post a project on Upwork looking for a smart inventor / 3D modeller that can take your requirements and submit their ideas on how to satisfy all of the requirements. I've attached the PDF that I got when I was working through this example.
  3. Work together to determine which one makes the most sense to test. Maybe you choose multiple. Get them to build a 3D model out of it including all hinges etc.
  4. Create the prototype. Again, dependent on what the product is, you can select the material to use for it. If you just want to validate an idea you can use cheaper materials (e.g. plastic). I used 3d printed parts to test concept 1 and 2.
  5. Get the parts 3D printed at your local 3D printer. This will cost extra but printing is cheap anyway. You will find out what works and what doesn't work for your prototype. My hinges were no strong enough, the screws were too short and all sorts of other issue. Iterate over this a few times until you have a solid prototype.
  6. Get the prototype in front of your customer. Search for a real customer, don't just ask your parents / brother / uncle because it's convenient. Find someone that has a vested interest in finding a product that will solve their issue. If your product is not solving an issue, I can't save you lol.
  7. Have some fun - the journey is the best part.
My product never made it to production. I made 25 prototypes which I sold for under cost price. Getting the product manufactured at a price point that made sense would have cost me 30-40k to set-up the molds etc so I looked for a different opportunity.
Yes ! A 100% yes ! I'm currently working with a technician in industrial design, step 1 - 3 is going well. Now I'm mostly looking for the best way to start a very small sample, to test, as you said, 3D printing is the way to achieve that. Then ya, next step will use 3D printing as well. Its probably is the most reliable and cost-efficient way to make my first like 100 units, which I will use to put my product in front of several potential customers/leads that I have. Thanks for the answer, I really do appreciate it :)
 

maverick

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Good work on getting started. Keep us up-to-date as you progress!
 

HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
I took some time to get some quotes from 3 recommanded sites : Xeometry, Fictiv, 3DHubs, here's the results :

Xoemetry : do not ship to Canada.
Fictiv : do not ship to Canada.
3DHubs : 128.45$, for 5 units, shipped to my door. In Prototyping PLA (using FDM), which is good enough, for a 1st prototype.

I'm still just waiting on my personal contacts to tell me what's the prices from their shops. Then I will go forth with the best option to test out my design ; if the way I designed the damn thing accomplishs the purpose.

Then, if the prototype doesn't work ---> rework the design, rince and repeat
If it works, then I will invest in a better material for it (most probably ABS, for 3D printing small batches).

And then party's starting, cause thats my field of expertise : sales and marketing :)

Once that side of things' secured, there's a large change that I will invest in a mold injection production line, cause it does seems, at this point in time, that it is the most reliable way to mass produce the product. I will make sure it is, when I get there, anyway.

Thanks for all your advices, your support, and your time, Maverick, BrianLateStart and Lyinx ! I will keep posting updates in this thread, as the project goes forward.
 

jpanarra

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I have a couple 3d printers and my brother is 3d print guy on IG and knows Uncle Jessy.

Shoot me a PM and I'll do it for free for a first few models. It'll be a fun project for me.
 

evanwilson

New Contributor
Jan 9, 2020
2
1
1
Hello there !

As the title says, I'm looking for tips/ways/threads that can help me and that process. I have created a product, that can be 3D printed, and most probably be mold injected (a unit is 15cm Hx 6cm Wx 2cm T), working on a 3D design on Focus 360 as I type this). With everything I saw, regarding mold injecting, it's extremely expensive, and I can't afford to go there, yet.

How and where do I start, for like the first 1 to 100 units (I'm considering 3D printing, as of right now) ? I can't believe that, to test a product, I have to go straight balls to the wall and throw 25 000$ at a mold and see if there's a market after that !

I have started the process to look locally (Quebec, Canada) for 3D printers, to get my first units, and start advertising it (maybe Kickstarter too ?), to see if there IS a market (mock-up website, running ads, see the feedback/lack of it, etc),
If yes, then what ?

I just email MFGs and be like "hey I have this product to make, it needs to do X Y Z. What kind of polymer do you guys recommand for the requested applications, and at what cost ?"
And in general, do I just go Google > "Mold injection manufacterers China" > boom get a quote > ?????

I'm somewhat lost here.

Anything can help ! Throw it at me, let's have a discussion !

Thanks for the help, and for your time :)

(I can give a description of my product as well, in a following message, if it can help)
Really amazing post you provide regarding your 3D design and products, and you have mentioned all possible points to sell your products and generate revenue, you mentioned like website design or advertising, ads etc.
I think if you get the best-targeted data to get your clients, it will probably benefitted because you know very well your product's selling areas, customer demands, and their types. If you will reach your specific industries then I thought it will easy for you to generate the business orders and demands but the main point is you have to get best data to reach your customers, So some reputed company will help you to generate your revenues, one of them Scott's Directories in Canada.
 

HellaSiccEtienne

New Contributor
Aug 19, 2020
8
7
12
Quebec, Canada
Hello again !

Current actions :

3D printing ! My friend's brother has one, and was willing to help me out, for free (yay) ! My very 1st prototype unit, in ABS, on top of it ! Much faster, much cheaper, loving it. I have made a list of all the things I need to test with, and bought everything I need to do so.

I'm preparing, for this spring, a list of 4-5 questions that I will ask my neighbors. Yes, I go door-to-door, to survey. It's somewhat annoying, but there's just some infos I don't see any other ways to get em. (I won't release the questions because it kinda points directly to my product. Trust me, I have looked for those specific informations, they're not available.)

Last night, I had a flash of an idea for ads. A quick 20 seconds videos that I can mostly shoot by myself. Something quick, to the point, somewhat funny, not with jokes but the way it's presented, anyway. I will work on a barebone script, and flesh it out later. Again, I have many steps to climb before needing to shoot ads and stuff. It will wait.

Talking about things I can do right now, but mostly can wait. I just did it for fun : creating a logo, and also fixing the name I was using to refer to the project. It was bad. It's as if I wanted to refer a screw, by calling it a stud. Anyway, now it's better. There's still room for improvement. Whatever, it's not really important, for now.

That's what is going on right now,

Etienne
 

Lyinx

Bronze Contributor
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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 28, 2019
424
495
223
Lancaster County, PA
Hello again !

Current actions :

3D printing ! My friend's brother has one, and was willing to help me out, for free (yay) ! My very 1st prototype unit, in ABS, on top of it ! Much faster, much cheaper, loving it. I have made a list of all the things I need to test with, and bought everything I need to do so.

I'm preparing, for this spring, a list of 4-5 questions that I will ask my neighbors. Yes, I go door-to-door, to survey. It's somewhat annoying, but there's just some infos I don't see any other ways to get em. (I won't release the questions because it kinda points directly to my product. Trust me, I have looked for those specific informations, they're not available.)

Last night, I had a flash of an idea for ads. A quick 20 seconds videos that I can mostly shoot by myself. Something quick, to the point, somewhat funny, not with jokes but the way it's presented, anyway. I will work on a barebone script, and flesh it out later. Again, I have many steps to climb before needing to shoot ads and stuff. It will wait.

Talking about things I can do right now, but mostly can wait. I just did it for fun : creating a logo, and also fixing the name I was using to refer to the project. It was bad. It's as if I wanted to refer a screw, by calling it a stud. Anyway, now it's better. There's still room for improvement. Whatever, it's not really important, for now.

That's what is going on right now,

Etienne
your friends brother, please, for his sake, make sure to take something along for him each time that you go.... coffee/donuts/entergy drinks... whatever is up his alley... don't just be a freeloader..
 

Joevil

PARKED
Jan 28, 2019
2
0
3
Hello there !

As the title says, I'm looking for tips/ways/threads that can help me and that process. I have created a product, that can be 3D printed, and most probably be mold injected (a unit is 15cm Hx 6cm Wx 2cm T), working on a 3D design on Focus 360 as I type this). With everything I saw, regarding mold injecting, it's extremely expensive, and I can't afford to go there, yet.

How and where do I start, for like the first 1 to 100 units (I'm considering 3D printing, as of right now) ? I can't believe that, to test a product, I have to go straight balls to the wall and throw 25 000$ at a mold and see if there's a market after that !

I have started the process to look locally (Quebec, Canada) for 3D printers, to get my first units, and start advertising it (maybe Kickstarter too ?), to see if there IS a market (mock-up website, running ads, see the feedback/lack of it, etc),
If yes, then what ?

I just email MFGs and be like "hey I have this product to make, it needs to do X Y Z. What kind of polymer do you guys recommand for the requested applications, and at what cost ?"
And in general, do I just go Google > "Mold injection manufacterers China" > boom get a quote > ?????

I'm somewhat lost here.

Anything can help ! Throw it at me, let's have a discussion !

Thanks for the help, and for your time :)

(I can give a description of my product as well, in a following message, if it can help)
 

Joevil

PARKED
Jan 28, 2019
2
0
3
Get a decent mockup from fiverr.com. Fiverr-industries-architecture-3D model and render. Take it to kickstarter and indiegogo and see how they like it. If they do, then money is no object.
 

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