What's the Difference Between Hard and Soft Tooling?
-Steel/aluminum tools are used for the injection molding process for prototype or bridge, but these tools are mostly used for high volume production (100’s-100,000’s).
-Steel/aluminum tools typically range in price from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. And pending on the material and part geometry, the tool life can range from thousands to millions of parts.
-Silicone molds and the urethane process are used when a lower volume of parts is needed (1-100). This is because the tooling and piece price is more economical for lower quantities. On average, silicone tools usually cost in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, pending on the part geometry.
-Silicone molds can be used for prototype, bridge and production of low volumes from one part to hundreds of parts. Most silicone molds are good for about 25 shots per cavity.