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When searching for the answer to “How much does a die cast tool cost?” It is important to understand why a good die cast tool costs what it does. Be cautious of die cast manufacturers that offer tools at costs much lower than other die casting companies. Tools or molds, are not cheap and going the cheaper route can and will often lead to more troublesome problems down the road. When it comes to die cast tooling, it is worth investing in the design and maintenance of the tool to ensure its longevity.
Superior Tool Design
Great tool design is critical to the overall success of your project. When you have a robust part, you want to make sure that your parts are consistent from the first shot all the way to the last. No matter how advanced your die cast machines are, if you cut costs for a cheaper tool, you run the risk of creating mediocre parts—which can add costs later on with unnecessary secondary operations—or worse complete project failure.
At Dynacast, we pay more attention to the details of the design and aim to create a tool that won’t get us, or our clients into a bind during production. Not only is it important to work with experienced designers, but using predictive software, like MAGMA, can help to determine what the runner system should look like, how the part is gated, and where the overflows will be. We could just design one runner and vent system to save cost in engineering, but instead we design several runner systems and run multiple MAGMA integrations to select the best runner option along with the optimal overflow placement. If we can predict where porosity and failure will occur in the part, we can design a tool that will anticipate and correct it on the front end—rather than after the fact, which can be expensive.
When you are creating a part using molten metal, you need to properly cool the part before removing it from the cavity. Removing the part too soon can change the shape of the part and compromise its structure. Some die casting companies just place a simple cooling circuit in the cavity block to save cost in design and tool manufacturing. At Dynacast, we regulate the temperature with very strategic cooling line placement and coverage. On larger more critical projects, additional time is invested in thermal analysis for cooling line optimization.
Some manufacturers will just EDM the entire cavity to cut down on costs but our engineers incorporate smaller inserts into the tool design. When we design the tool with smaller shut offs it allows us to make adjustments during production. If a tool is eroding quickly, with every shot a critical feature could be changing. Instead of replacing the entire tool—which adds cost and slow production time—only part of the tool needs to be changed. We can predict which area of the tool will wear faster and make that a removable insert. Our customers receive better dimensional stability at a lower cost because we design our tools to last longer and provide better part-to-part consistency over time.
Proper Tool Maintenance
No matter how predictive your tool design is, over time metal on metal wears and it is important to make timely repairs. Our engineers can predict how long a tool can and should be used before performing maintenance so that downtime is limited. It is much easier and faster to perform maintenance on a tool than to create a new one due to failure. When your tool is not running, it is carefully cleaned and stored so it is ready to go at the start of your next project. Most of our facilities have an ultrasonic cleaning system in-house.
Prolonging the Tool Life
It is important to consider the life of the die when designing a tool. If you are making thousands of parts every year and you have to replace your die annually, how much money are you losing in downtime or tool costs? When you work with an experienced die casting manufacturer who can predict the longevity of the tool and design it to last longer, you will save tenfold over time. Proper tool design and maintenance will help to avoid weld repairs that often lead to weld sink and flash.
Leader in Die Cast Manufacturing
In over 80 years of business, we have built over 300,000 unique dies. Our engineers are constantly pushing the envelope with complex part designs and take pride in the quality of work that we provide. We aim to build dies that efficiently cope with high-volume production. With any die casting project, it is always a good idea to include a die casting engineer during the part design phase—it can translate into major cost savings in both design and production down the road. If you are interested in learning more about our in-house tooling or would like to receive a quote for your next project, contact our engineering team today.