Design manufacturing tips to Consider before tooling
Design for Manufacturing or DFM is an essential process in the manufacturing world. The actual drawing of the part or product has to be in line with good manufacturing principles for the process to work. Below are some basic tips to consider before tooling begins to save time and money.
Parts & colors: Choose the ideal combination between the material and manufacturing process that will minimize production costs. Stay away from expensive and labor intensive final operations with painting, polishing and finish machining. Tight tolerances can be difficult to manage. Keeping flexibility in tolerance prohibits interruptions in manufacturing. . Manage the size and functionality. Designing multi-functional parts can save on tooling costs. This is an easy way to lower the total number of parts and design parts with more than one function.
Keep it simple: Consolidate parts when possible. You will save time in manufacturing as well as shipping. Design your product to join without using screws, fasteners or adhesives. Is it possible for your product to interlock? If fasteners are required, try to keep the size, number and type to a minimum and use standard fasteners whenever possible to reduce added material cost and labor time.
Click here to download insert specs that ThermoFab recommends.
Consider thermoforming for smaller part quantities. You wouldn't want to use highly-capitalized process like injection molding which involves building of tools and dies to make a low-volume part that could have been manufactured using a lower-capitalized method, such as thermoforming.
Tool-making is one of the most critical and expensive items on the manufacturing to-do list. And because your tool is the basis of your part or product, every decision you make about how your tool is made is, by default, a decision about the quality of your product.
We can build a prototype before tooling allowing you to work out the details before a tool is made. Designing for manufacturing allows changes to be executed quickly, early in the process saving money in the long run.
At ThermoFab we are here to work with you through DFM to get your product design perfected and to market quickly.