Right Sizing Production (Part 2)

I stumbled upon a great blog post by Xometry that touches on my last post. They took a theoretical part and quoted it in different processes and at different lot sizes. This is awesome information, but there quite a bit to unpack here.

The meat and potatoes is this graph here:

Source: Xometry

Big caveats: This is an example part. Your part with different volume, size, features and material will have different break even points. They also conflate capital costs and part costs by amortizing capital costs. Most organization don’t do this for tax reasons and have different targets around those numbers, but its still a valid way to look at this since ultimately money is money.

Some interesting takeaways:

  • Low volume injection molding is only 2% of the cost of a single 3D printed prototype. This illustrates the realty of high prototyping costs and low, low production costs. This pushes even lower when you get into multi-cavity tools and even higher volume.
  • Although there are differences in prices between 3D printing process they all fall into $200 to $500 at any lot size. With this in mind one should pick the best process for the attributes you value whether its cosmetics, functionality or a mix of both.
  • Cast Urethane breaks even with Injection Molding at 128 parts in this example
  • CNC Machining is shown as generally comparable to Cast Urethane from 4 to 32 parts, which I would take with a grain of salt. They don’t show what the example part looks like, but a part optimized for CNC will be poorly optimized for CU and vice versa.

Great that Xometry shared this example. It quite informative.

Bayard Design can be your trusted partner to help sort through design v. functionality v. cost optimization for your real product!

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