In today’s manufacturing world, rapid tooling has become one of the most popular manufacturing processes you can use to produce molds, prototypes, and final products at a rapid pace and at the cheapest cost. While the rapid tooling process might already be fast and affordable enough to complete your manufacturing projects, there are still various optimizations you can apply to get the fastest time completion and cheapest cost possible from this manufacturing process.
Here’s how you can reduce the rapid tooling cost and shorten the manufacturing time:
1. Simplify the Blueprint Design for Your Molds and Prototypes
With rapid tooling, the general rule of rapid prototyping will also apply, which is the more complex your design, the longer it will take for your rapid tooling equipment to work on it. Thus, creating the blueprint design for your molds and prototypes that is too complex will also add to the time completion requirements for this manufacturing process.
The best way to cut down on the manufacturing time is to simplify the blueprint design for your molds and prototypes. Optimize your blueprint design, so that the rapid tooling equipment doesn’t need to process it for too long to complete your project.
2. Lower the Material Grade You Use in Rapid Tooling
The higher the material grade you use, the higher the costs you will need to pay for the rapid tooling process. Save the higher material grade for the final products, if you must use them. Or, you can still use materials with a higher grade if you have a big budget for your project.
It’s best to lower the material grade you use in rapid tooling if you want to lower down the overall cost of manufacturing, and especially if you are still in the prototyping stage. It’s one of the best ways to save money on your manufacturing process when you are using the rapid tooling method.
3. Pick the Materials that Have Easier Machinability
There are rapid tooling materials that are difficult to machine, and there are also materials that are easy to machine. The machinability of the materials will be determined by the material structure and characteristics.
Choosing the materials that have easier machinability will boost the rapid tooling production process considerably. So, you can save a lot of time if you are working with the materials with easier machinability.
4. Optimize the Robotics and Computerization Aspects
Rapid tooling systems cannot work in proper ways without the robotics and computerization aspects. In fact, the computerization of this process makes it possible for you to perform the manufacturing production process at a rapid pace. However, any problems in the computerization and robotics aspects can impact the production process negatively.
So, it’s best to always optimize the robotics and computerization aspects by performing maintenance on the overall rapid tooling systems regularly. By performing this maintenance, you can fix any issues that might appear around the robotics and computerization aspects of your rapid tooling production. It will keep your system running as smoothly as possible, helping you shorten the manufacturing process for the long term.
5. Hire Highly-Skilled Workers
Nothing can be more frustrating than having low-skilled workers make mistakes that might cost you a big loss in your production process. Rapid tooling might be an affordable alternative to the conventional tooling method, but a small mistake can still cost you a considerable amount of money. So, it’s best to leave the rapid tooling production process to the highly-skilled workers.
Hiring highly-skilled workers might require you to pay them a higher salary, but you can ensure the best result for their work. Any problems will also get fixed professionally fast, so you don’t need to worry about making a costly mistake in your rapid tooling process.
6. Find and Fix Potential Problems before They Appear
During the rapid tooling process, various issues can happen from time to time, which can comprise both hardware and software issues. There might be some issues on the equipment itself, or there might be some issues on the software running the rapid tooling machine. No matter the issues you need to deal with during the rapid tooling production process, it’s best for you to handle the issues as soon as possible.
Even better, you can find and fix potential problems before they appear, and before the problems jeopardize your entire production process.
7. Optimize Your Production Workflow
Optimizing your production workflow means making sure that the rapid tooling production process goes as smoothly as possible from the preparation stage to the finishing stage. During the rapid tooling process, there might be instances where you need to deal with unnecessary steps in your production, which if you assess further, these steps can be reduced or eliminated altogether.
It’s best for you to optimize your production workflow to save a lot of time in your rapid tooling production process, and with fewer steps to take, you can also save a lot of money in your manufacturing production.
8. Minimize Your Project Requirements
Another way to reduce the rapid tooling cost and manufacturing time is to minimize your project requirements. Not all project requirements are equal in terms of their completion time and costs involved to complete them. Projects that require various complex steps to do will take way more time to complete, and they are also often more expensive.
By minimizing your project requirements, you can reduce the costs and time completion estimates considerably, provided that you can still carry the essential aspects of the project. Minimizing your project requirements doesn’t mean to reduce the quality of the project altogether, but instead, it means to filter out the important parts of the project from the non-essential parts.
Various adjustments need to be applied for you to reduce the costs of rapid tooling and also the time completion estimate of this manufacturing production process. It is also important to keep the equipment and software for rapid tooling running smoothly during the production process to avoid any delays in manufacturing or create any issues that can be costly for your production plan.
TEAM Rapid offers a wide range of rapid tooling and rapid manufacturing services that can handle various manufacturing projects in both small and big production scale. We own a large factory in China, and we operate our business from our primary office in Hong Kong.