Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Quality results, on time delivery, and cost-effective pricing are probably the three top responses when you’re asked about what you look for in a third-party service provider. Consider a fourth: The ability to work with you as well as for you. Working with you as opposed to doing what they want to do is the key to a good relationship with any third-party service provider. It may be even more important when your provider is an online manufacturing services company because communications slip easily. Today’s Check it Out read is a good example of how an online manufacturing service provider should work with you.
The Quickparts division of 3D Systems produced its “Injection Molding Design Guide” to help you get your custom-made parts and injection molds the way you need them. You know, on time, at quoted price, and to spec.
Let’s put the relationship between Quickparts and you into perspective. Quickparts’s expertise is plastic injection molding through solutions ranging from rapid injection molding to production tooling and rapid prototyping and CNC machining services. It custom makes parts and injection molds in large or small volumes and in various materials.
To use Quickparts, you simply upload your 3D CAD geometry. Its QuickQuote analysis engine evaluates the part geometry, required materials, lead-time, and quantity then immediately returns a custom-generated quote for producing the part. An important aside: Think of QuickQuote as a design for manufacturing tool because it also does that analysis for you.
That’s all fine and dandy, I hear you say, but no two shops work alike and they’re off in the ether. Right, exactly, and that’s where the guide comes in. It’s like having your Quickparts Tooling Manager in your office: It has the quick answers, recommendations, and tips you need when you’re in the middle of designing, pitching, prepping, or just considering something for a Quickparts mold tooling process.
And I do mean quick. This 11-page PDF is all business. It doesn’t have an introduction, executive overview, or summation. It does have a table of contents, some easy to read tables, and a handful of helpful images. Topics covered include a comparison of injection mold tooling processes, size limitations by process, geometric considerations, gating, straight pull design for rapid injection molding, resin selection, surface finish selection, and lead times.
Each topic is short and sweet, much like how you would hash out the nitty-gritty details of a job with your shop manager if your shop were down the hall instead of at a third-party. It’s even has a touch a humor, including what I consider to be a classic line about plastic molding: “The flow of plastic in a tool is a complex phenomenon -- sometimes friendly and predictable, other times evil and erratic.”
Looking back over what I’ve written, there’s one other thing to say about this guide: It’s something that every service provider -- local or online -- should do but few if any bother to go the extra mile as Quickparts has done. That Quickparts went the extra mile also says something about how they work with you, no?
Download your complimentary copy of the “Injection Molding Design Guide” from the link over there. You can also request a sample injection-molded part, or get a no obligation mold flow and design analysis from the QuickQuote analysis engine. This is definitely worth it.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Download: Injection Molding Design Guide