Package Tooling

Several options are available when considering the tooling used to form and cut thermoformed parts. Choosing which option to go with will depend on the level of standardization required versus cost considerations. There is no need to purchase the most expensive option to achieve a quality part that is well within desired tolerances.

Prototype Tooling:

  • 3D Printing Mold
    • ABS material
    • Durable
    • Rough look
    • Yields approximately 5 samples
    • Inexpensive
  • REN Board Mold
    • Polyurethane
    • Durable
    • Polished look
    • Yields approximately 10 samples
    • Moderately expensive
  • Aluminum Prototype Mold
    • Aluminum
    • Durable
    • Production quality
    • Yields 10 samples
    • Expensive

Production Tooling:

  • Aluminum
    • Most widely used
    • High strength
    • Water cooled
    • Consistently yields the same part within processing parameters
    • Expense depends on a broad range of variables including intricacy, tolerances, visual appeal, etc.

Die Cutting Tooling:

  • Steel Rule Die Cutting
    • Industry standard
    • Construction
      • Flat base made out of high-density plywood
      • Precision cuts are made into the base for placement of steel rule
      • Steel Rule, a sharp blade made out of hardened steel, is cut and bent into position
      • Rubber pads are adhered to the base to help eject the material after it’s cut
    • Relatively inexpensive
  • Forged Die Cutting
    • Construction
      • Softened steel is bent to form the desired shape
      • Ends are welded together to form a seamless die blade
      • Die is fully hardened in a heat treating furnace to make the die durable and long-lasting
      • Die edge is ground, filed, and polished
      • Final die is free standing without the use of wood
    • Moderately expensive
  • Matched Metal Die Cutting
    • Construction
      • Made in two parts – one part passes through the other to make the cut
      • Most commonly cut from solid blocks of hardened specialty steel to precise measurements
    • Very Expensive
    • Used on long-term, high volume runs where extremely tight tolerances are required