JCAD Owner Featured in Forbes
30 November, 2022
January 14, 2022 at 7:07 am
If you’d like to know “How much does it cost to make a silicone mold?” you’ve come to the right place!
The cost to create a silicone mold depends on many different factors, including the mold’s size, shape and the material the mold will be made from.
Single cavity custom silicone injection molds may cost from $500 to $5000 on average depending on the size and complexity of the mold required. A two cavity mold, one with complex geometry or a mold for a large product can cost as much as $20000.
Usually when answering the question “How much does it cost to make a mold?” we will factor in production costs, including materials like pre hardened steel, the cnc machining required to make the mold and the complicated primary manufacturing facilities that make our dies for us. There are however a number of other factors we need to include as well:
If you are just starting a new project where you are trying to make products out of liquid silicone rubber, natural or manmade rubber, natural latex or any other common mold rubbers or reusable molding materials, there are other costs you will need to factor in beyond the mold cost including:
To be able to create custom molds for the production manufacturing process, a CAD design is required. CAD designs are quite affordable, starting at around $200, and rising in price for two part molds with complex parts or elements.
Yes, we recommend this for all our clients. A 3D printed prototype is an affordable way to test any undercuts and complex geometry in your mold frame, eg. in a complex gasket, along with its functionality before a mold is made from more rigid materials. Steel molds cost a lot to make, so it is important to get your mold core right the first time.
Shipping costs are a small factor, but consider whether you really need your dies shipped to you. In most cases your mold box should be stored at the factory who will be producing your products. This helps prevent mold damage, and will prolong the longevity of your dies, as good manufacturers will only ever store a cleaned mold after they’ve used it.
Most casts are made from steel, sometimes with a beryllium copper alloy included. These materials are long lasting and work well with silicone oil for mold release, and are suitable for molding with all the most common mold rubbers and other rubber types, low melt metals, speciality high performance polymer, plastic casting resin and even gypsum plasters.
An injection mould is often the cheapest aspect of a manufacturing project and can significantly reduce the cost of small parts compared to other manufacturing processes like 3D printing. Therefore even though injection molding is expensive to begin with, due to the processes required to make a mould, in the the long run you will save a lot of money, as the price per unit will be much lower.
If you are creating relatively low quantities of a finished product, 3D printing is usually a better, more affordable alternative. The tooling cost is much lower or sometimes non-existent, you can print in strong materials, and reproduce extraordinary detail, just as you can with steel molds, however at a much lower price per unit than using a typical mold and injection moulding process.
The mold making process for plastic injection molding is very similar to molding silicone. The mold making materials are the same for a plastic injection mold. So how much does it cost to make plastic injection molds? Basically the costs are equivalent to silicone, so you should base your decision not on the price of the mould but on the finished material you want your product made from.
If you mean can you make a mold out of silicone at home, the answer is yes. If you mean a mold to inject silicone into for professional manufacturing, not really.
For hobbyist purposes moulds can be made out of almost anything. You can make an epoxy mold, have a foam core held together with hot glue, use polymer clay use precious metal clay or anything you can think of that will hold the form you want.
Silicone molds for professional purposes should be made by professionals. An epoxy mold or mold made out of hot glue won’t cut it. You will have a very hard time convincing a manufacturing facility to use a mold you have personally created.
If looked after properly, casts can have a 20+ year lifespan. So even though they are expensive to begin with, their initial cost can be spread out over a long time.
Storing on mold frames, in a dry environment, away from sources of heat will prolong the life of your die. This should be looked after by your manufacturer.
If you’re looking to have a single cavity mold or two part mold made for injection molding from very strong materials that will withstand repeated use when manufacturing abs plastic part or silicone products get in touch with us today on 1-888-202-2052 or through our quote form or chat widget.
We look forward to speaking with you!
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Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.
Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on LinkedIn.