When you’re ready to take the next steps and turn your prototype into a real product it can sometimes feel like a sticking point when manufacturers require CAD drawing files before they begin a consultation or start product development with you.
We get asked about the CAD file requirement quite frequently, as it is featured on our contact form, so let’s take a look at why most good manufacturers ask for Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) files and what it means for your eventual silicone product.
Higher Quality Silicone Products
One of the main advantages of using CAD files even at the earliest stages of consultation is that you receive the highest quality expertise and advice from the very beginning of production, ensuring that the silicone products your silicone injection molder produces will be the very best quality possible.
Without some idea of size, number of cavities, complexity, shape, and design, a manufacturer cannot accurately advise on the manufacturability of your product or help you choose the right materials and color . Some overseas manufacturers may occasionally offer to consult on a project without looking at CAD files but time and again what we see from this is a part or product that is sub-standard, often not serving the purpose it was originally designed for. It’s difficult to advise on a part you’ve never seen, so CAD files ensure that your manufacturer knows exactly what you’re trying to create.
Choosing the Right People for the Right Product
Offering new and potential manufacturers a chance to look at your CAD files, after signing an NDA (which most good manufacturers will do), allows for them to prove to you the true depth of their expertise when it comes to silicone and plastic manufacturing. If they have experience in the industry they’ll flourish when to comes to offering their insights on your design and you can be assured that your product is safe in their hands.
Often during your first consultation with a new manufacturer you’ll quickly be able to tell how well they understand the landscape of silicone injection molding engineering and the processes behind silicone manufacturing simply by the feedback they offer on your CAD files and initial ideas.
Getting the Right Advice
Offering a new manufacturer the chance to view CAD files of your potential product is also a great way to show potential silicone molders how serious you are about production.
Injection molding is a highly efficient and cost-effective process but it’s also a large commitment from your manufacturer when it comes to set-up— there are several large steps your injection molder will take before they can begin manufacturing your part including mold construction, package design, and various quality assurance steps. Providing them with CAD drawing files is evidence of your commitment to the process, showing them that they can safely invest time and expertise in your product can help them make it the very best silicone product that it can be. Good silicone manufacturers are invested in the industry as a whole and are committed to seeing the best possible products make it to market.
Next Steps After Creating CAD Files
Once you have created CAD files — either yourself, through a designer, or with a product development company — it's time to approach a silicone injection molder for their thoughts and quotation. If you weren't quite prepared to talk to a manufacturer previously — perhaps you had no CAD files or your volume sizes were too small to be effective with injection molding —we always welcome people to reach out to us again and contact us for a free consultation.
With some 50 years experience in industry and business, our team of experts are readily available to consult on your large volume silicone injection molding projects. We're also happy to sign NDAs.