Team Rapid Manufacturing Co., Ltd

Tel: +86 760 8850 8730
Home > News & Events > Production and Prototype Tooling

Production and Prototype Tooling


This article is going to share with you about the difference between production and Prototype Tooling.


Testing is normally a key point during product development. In some cases, engineers may need to present representative materials, processes and how a new part will be before top management approves the investment. Manufacturers usually use different method to execute prototypes depending on the function of the parts.

Prototype Tooling


Client always concern how many parts can a prototype tool produce and if they could support Production from a prototype tool. Part quantity determines how the tools is designed and built. Normally, small quantity may be built into bolster and high volume parts may have steel inserts and automated processes built in to the tooling. Another key aspect is what material will be used? A tooling produce simple part in ABS will extend the tool life. Complicated parts made from PEEKM, PPS or PPA will have a lower lifespan. So, it is hard for us to supply well into thousands of parts without issue with these types of materials from our tooling.

For both production and prototyping, every tool is different. How to determine the difference between production and prototype tool? If you want to produce complicated parts at a low volume, unit cost of a part is higher as if the tool required inserts removing and refitting to the tool by hand. But if the tool has automation built into it and enable to cycle more, unit cost of the part lower. This is called a prototype tool. If you want to produce more than 100 moldings in a year, it is obviously that investing in a fully automated tool is not a viable way, then, we could use production tool.

High production molds are highly automated with maintenance provisions, sensing and process control capability these factors cost time and money but provide cost and processing efficiencies in the actual volume molding itself. Prototype molds have limited automation and cavities which save time and cost in fabrication. So, prototype mold is suited to low volume molding. Production tooling is usually made from hardened P20, H13 or other tool steel which is suitable for repeated use and long tool life. Prototype tools are soft tools as aluminum and or mild steel are often used. This tooling material can be cut quicker in the machining processes which allow faster and more cost effective prototype tools.

At TEAM Rapid, we assist customers in the process of making decision about machines, materials and tooling. We’d love the chance to help customers’ prototypes or products. Visit us online or speak to us at regarding your project.

Contact Us

Follow Us

facebook twitter youtube

Contact Us

Upload File