Prototyping Services


Economic Steps and Timing for Creating a Protective Cover

1. Innovative and Efficient Design

If you or your organization have the capability to create solid models, then the design work can be done by you, with periodic feedback and discussions with Custom Rubber Corp. If the capability is not available, Custom Rubber Corp. can do the work - we bill $150 per hour and will give you an estimate for how many hours it will take. 

If there is a solid model of the plastic enclosure available, design work may be as little as 10 hours. If there is no model of the enclosure, the enclosure has to be “drawn” first or the part has to be electronically scanned. Then the protective case has to be designed, which could be 20 to 30 hours of work plus the cost of the electronic scan.

Custom Rubber Corp. can make design suggestions but does not take responsibility for the success or failure of the design. Ensuring the end product meets the agreed upon design is Custom Rubber Corp.'s responsibility. If the design does not work the way it is expected to, this is the responsibility of the customer.

The projected hours are very rough estimates given our experience with other protective cases.
Timing for this step can be anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks depending on the complexity of the part.
2. Prototype

In order to prototype, a computer 3D or solid model of a part is required. 
The only real viable option to prototype a protective case is cast urethane from soft tooling. The resulting part is similar to the production part with one major difference: urethane is not nearly as flexible or stretchable as the silicone we typically recommend for protective cases. What this means is that the urethane prototype may have to be cut in order to get it on the enclosure. The urethane type can be used for mock-ups and to confirm overall fit.

The cast urethane prototypes start at around $2,000 and can be more depending on the size and geometric complexity of the part.

Timing for this step is generally fewer than 2 weeks and the soft tooling can produce 1 to 5 pieces.
3. Production Tooling

The production tooling is made from 4140 steel. Production tooling is highly dependent on the complexity of the part but will likely start around $10,000 and could reach $35,000. Production molds are generally made with 2 to 4 cavities. Included in the cost of tooling are 1 or 2 sample parts that confirm the geometry is correct.

Timing for this step can be anywhere from 8 to 14 weeks.
If it is determined that a change needs to be made, there will be additional tooling charges related to the change. In some cases, these changes are minor and involve removing steel, which can be as low as $500.

There is also potential for major changes in which the design is not steel safe and the cost of the case could be almost as much as the original mold.
Timing for any modifications can be as little as 1 week and as much as 8 weeks.
4. Production

Once parts are approved, production can begin. With a two cavity mold, part price will be around $15 each.  A four cavity mold would yield a lower piece price. Custom Rubber Corp. has a minimum order size of $1,500 and requires customers to purchase $10,000 per year.