When I’ve received a project, whether its 2d-3d solid modeling, 3d organic modeling or 3d solid laser modeling, I usually put about 10 to 25 hours into an initial design (Phase 1). I will listen to you, look at any sketches or drawings you have and come up with a rough 3 dimensional computer model. This 3d modeling phase costs $700 to $2000. You will receive edrawings that you can look at 3 dimensionally and use to refine your design.
During (phase 2) the design refining process I work for $70 per hour. This is where all the design, material, styling and manufacturability questions are solved. Most computer model iterations get done within 10 to 15 hours, although more complicated 3d modeling like 3d organic modeling can take longer. After you are satisfied with your design it is ready for production quotes.
In (Phase 3) I usually contact three production shops for quotes. I send them the computer models over the internet in the 3d modeling format that they choose. Using these computer models they will tell us how much the production process will cost and how much each part or assembly will cost. I usually spend about 3 to 9 hours (for parts and simple assemblies) preparing the files, contacting the shops and preparing a 2d drawing for you. This 2d drawing shows your design with the prototype and production costs. This drawing is controlled by the 3d design and will update with future changes. This costs ($240 to $720) (large assemblies greater than 4 parts may be more time consuming). Machined parts and parts without tooling are straight forward costing. Ballpark injection mold production tooling costs are around $5,000 to $90,000 per tool depending on how complex the part. Each molded part needs a tool. The price of each part depends on cycle time (how quick the part can be made) and material cost per part.
There are less expensive alternatives to production tooling. Sometimes this is the best way to get your product to market. These however produce a more expensive part.
Your Responsibility for the 3D Modeling Process
You are interested in the cost of your design delivered to your customer. This includes the profit, mold amortization, the part price, handling the part, assembling the part (if necessary), packaging the part, bar codes and shipping to your customer. I can support this effort with electronic pictures and 3d solid laser modeling and other 3D models that can be manipulated on computers (jpeg, pdf, ppt, edrawings, etc.). Using this information you can decide if the design is feasible. Phase 2 and phase 3 may be required more than once.
When you are satisfied that the product is feasible we can build a prototype of the 2d 3d solid modeling design (Phase 4). I have prototype shops that I use to make Stereo-Litho or 3d Printing models for plastic, laser cut and break pressed parts for metal and machine shops. These look just like the finished part and can be used as a market research tool. You can take this prototype to your customers and see if they will buy it at the price you can make it. Prototype parts cost about $300 to $2500 per part again depending on the complexity.
At this point you may have only $1000 to $7000 into the project. Your customers will give you your most valuable input, they will suggest improvements. Using these suggestions we revisit the design refining process, production quote process, part cost process and if the changes are radical enough we do another prototype.
When you are convinced that you have a winning design you can commit to tooling and production. Then your real work starts. You are in business. Call now and let’s get to work! Rob Drew Archbar Design 360-901-2675